Friday, May 29, 2009

New Crew of Six living aboard Space Station

A new era in space exploration began this morning as a Canadian, European and Russian boarded the international space station to join a Russian, American and Japanese and creating a space human race with five station partners represented.

After docking their Soyuz TMA-15 to the Russian module, flight engineers Roman Romanenko, Robert Thirsk and Frank De Winne opened their hatch, meanwhile current station astronauts Commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineers KoichiWakata and Mike Barratt were given a "go" to open their hatch, which occurred thirty minutes late at 10:14 am EDT.

Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk summoned it up during a welcoming ceremony, "It is a historic day. It's also a very happy day up here, you can't imagine the state of elation the six of us have right now. You know, amongst partners that have a passion for exploration, a proven track record on innovation, and a desire to gain new knowledge, we've got an incredible potential for success here. This is going to be something incredible!"

The new larger crew will be the norm aboard station as humanity expands its presence in space - working and living together.

The six man space station crew will enjoy a quiet weekend, focusing on familiarization of where items are on board the orbiting outpost in space. On Monday morning, the new Expedition 20 crew will hold a new conference at 10:20 am EDT on Monday.

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