Soyuz TMA-12M on approach to ISS.
The second half of Expedition 39 arrived at the International Space Station yesterday, a little late from having to endure the two day voyage instead of the planned six hour shortcut. A missed thruster firing had resulted Tuesday when the spacecraft computers deemed the craft was out of correct position.
The crew of TMA-12M. L to R: astronaut Steve Swanson, Soyuz Commander cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev.
Automatic computer maneuvering docked the Soyuz spacecraft at a few minutes shy of 6 pm MDT. The Soyuz is docked to the Russian-built Polsk docking compartment. After equalizing air pressures and docking safety checks, the crew opened the hatches at 8:35 MDT and the crew escaped the cramped confines of the Soyuz capsule to enter the wide open spaces of the ISS. After a welcoming ceremony, the crew was given a safety tour of the station. The entire crew will have Friday "off" as the new crew accommodates to the new routines.
Broadcast of the Welcome ceremony. The new crewmembers are in front. In back are (L-R) Station Commander Koichi Wakat of Japan, Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin of Russia.