Six is now the updated crew complement aboard the International Space Station. The new crew members hail from the United States, Russia, and Japan.
NASA’s Scott Tingle, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency joined Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and crewmates Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA aboard the International Space Station when the hatches between the Soyuz spacecraft and the orbiting laboratory officially opened at 5:55 a.m. EST. The welcoming ceremony will begin shortly. Now, with six crew members ongoing research can begin.
The crew members will spend about six months conducting approximately 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development — research that impacts life on Earth.
Vande Hei, Acaba and Misurkin are scheduled to remain aboard the station until February 2018, and Tingle, Shkaplerov and Kanai are scheduled to return to Earth next June.
This crew continues the long-term increase in crew size on the U.S. segment from three to four, allowing NASA to maximize time dedicated to research in the unique microgravity environment. Highlights of upcoming investigations include demonstrating the benefits of manufacturing fiber optic filaments in a microgravity environment, a new study looking at structures that are vital to the design of advanced optical materials and electronic devices and examining a drug compound and drug delivery system designed to combat muscular breakdown in space or during other prolonged periods of disuse, such as extended bed rest on Earth.
Earlier in the day:
The Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA’s Scott Tingle, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency docked to the International Space Station at 3:39 a.m. EST while both spacecraft were flying about 250 miles over the southern coast of Italy commonly referred to as the “boot.” The arrival brings the crew member total to six.
Aboard the space station, Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and his crewmates, Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA, will welcome the new crew members when the hatches between the two spacecraft are opened following standard pressurization and leak checks.
Watch the hatch opening targeted for 5:35 a.m. and welcome ceremony to follow live on NASA TV beginning at 5 a.m. on the agency’s website.
Here is the launch of the new crew members, earlier, with the anticipated arrival on December 18, 2017 at the space station:
The Soyuz spacecraft carrying NASA’s Scott Tingle, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, is scheduled to dock to the International Space Station’s Rassvet module at 3:43 a.m. EST Tuesday, Dec. 19. Coverage of docking will begin at 3 a.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website, followed at 5 a.m. for coverage of the opening of hatches between the spacecraft and station, expected to occur at approximately 6:35 a.m.
The arrival of Tingle, Shkaplerov and Kanai will restore the station’s crew complement to six. They will joinExpedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and his crewmates, Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA. The crew members will spend more than four months conducting approximately 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.
For live coverage and more information about the mission, visit: www.nasa.gov/station. Get breaking news, images and features from the station on Instagram at: @iss and on Twitter @Space_Station and @ISS_Research.
Written By: Mark Garcia NASA
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