Saturday, March 28, 2009

Expedition 19 Crew Arrives at Space Station

A Russian Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft carrying the Expedition 19 crew docked with the international space station this morning following a beautiful LIVE video downlink of the new-look complex in space.

In an event which was carried LIVE on SpaceLaunch, the crew of three aboard the Soyuz - Commander Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, American astronaut Michael Barratt and space tourist Charles Simonyi docked with the space station a few minutes early at 9:05 am EDT or 4:05 pm Moscow time.

A slight issue with the Soyuz thruster firings on automatic caused Padalka to switch to manual control to bring the craft in for a perfect docking.

Padalka and Barratt will begin to replace current Expedition 18 commander Mike Fincke and flight engineer Yury Lonchakov, who have been aboard the orbital outpost since October.

The hatches between the Soyuz and station will be opened at about 12 noon EDT.

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