Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Crew of Five aboard Space Station

Carrying a small decorated Christmas tree and wearing a red Santa cap, Soyuz commander Kotov entered the space station at 7:35 pm EST tonight, followed by elf's Creamer and Noguchi, and beginning their six month stay in space.

Hatch opening occurred at 7:30 pm this evening (3:30 am Moscow time) as the station passed 220 miles above the central Atlantic Ocean.

As quickly as the crew of entered the orbital outpost, they were ordered back inside their newly arrived Soyuz TMA-17 craft so that Russia's Mission Control could properly video record the crew's ingress into the station.

Minutes later, Mission Control in Moscow told the crew to go back again and to video record the crew's holiday dressed entrance into the space station for a third time.

As the minutes then went by with the Soyuz crew inside their space taxi again, the station's commander Jeff Williams and flight engineer Max Surave began to get a bit impatient with the staging of the ceremony.

"If we wait to much longer then the guys will get their feelings hurt and not want to come out," Surave radioed Moscow.

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