A new trio of Expedition 37 residents has arrived at the International Space Station. Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineers Mike Hopkins and Sergey Ryazanskiy docked to the Poisk mini-research module Wednesday at 10:45 p.m. EDT aboard a Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft.
They launched just four orbits earlier at 4:58 p.m. from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. After the hatches open, the new residents will participate in a welcome ceremony at 12:25 a.m. with Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano. NASA TV coverage begins at midnight.
Kotov, Hopkins and Ryazanskiy are scheduled for a 5-1/2 month stay in space living and working inside the orbital laboratory. They are due to return home in March 2014 landing in Kazakhstan inside the same Soyuz spacecraft they arrived in.
This is Kotov’s third space station mission. He served as a flight engineer for Expedition 15 in 2007. Kotov was also commander in 2010 for Expedition 23. Hopkins and Ryazanskiy are both on their first space mission.
Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano have been aboard the space station since May 28. They have seen the arrival of two international resupply ships and one commercial cargo craft.
Since they began their mission, Yurchikhin has participated in three Russian spacewalks. Parmitano conducted two U.S. spacewalks. Nyberg captured Japan’s Kounotori-4 resupply ship while at the controls of the Canadarm2.
Watch the launch below:
Image caption: Expedition 37 NASA Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins, far left, Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov and Russian Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy, far right, in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. They arrived at the International Space Station on September 25 (Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi)