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New Crew Set To Dock with ISS on Friday

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New Crew Members Set To Dock with Station on Friday

After launching aboard their Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft Wednesday, three new Expedition 34 crew members are on their way to join their crewmates aboard the International Space Station with a docking set for Friday.

Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn, Roman Romanenko and Chris Hadfield will complete their two-day journey to the orbiting outpost when they dock to the Rassvet module at 9:12 a.m. EST on Friday. The new trio will join Commander Kevin Ford and Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin who’ve been residing at the orbital laboratory since Oct. 26.

Coverage of the docking will begin at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday on NASA TV.

› NASA TV schedule for Soyuz docking coverage

› Watch NASA TV

The new trio launched aboard their Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft at 7:12 a.m. (6:12 p.m. Baikonur time) Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

› Read more about the launch

› Watch the launch video

› Watch the crew's launch day preparations

Aboard the station Thursday, Ford, Novitskiy and Tarelkin focused on science experiments and maintenance activities as they await the arrival of the station’s new residents.

Ford worked with the Medaka Osteoclast experiment, capturing Medaka fish inside the Aquatic Habitat for processing and analysis. Medaka Osteoclast is a Japanese experiment that uses the fish as a model animal to help scientists understand the causes of bone density loss during long-duration spaceflight.

› Read more about Medaka Osteoclast

› Read more about the Aquatic Habitat

Ford also removed and replaced the bacteria filter in the Destiny laboratory and replaced the desiccant in the Microgravity Experiment Research Locker/Incubator (MERLIN).

Novitskiy performed some maintenance on the air heater fan in the Soyuz TMA-06M currently docked with the station. He also worked with the Lower Body Negative Pressure experiment. This is a pair of trousers that a crew member puts on that lowers the pressure on the legs, pulling blood down from the upper body and simulating what the crew will feel when they return to Earth and feel gravity again.

Tarelkin worked in the Russian segment of the station performing maintenance on the emergency valves and the Elektron oxygen generation system.

The station’s residents also had opportunities for Earth observation and photography as they orbited the world every 90 minutes. Thursday’s orbital path provided chances for the crew to photograph the Tungurahua Volcano, which is still erupting; Nairobi, Kenya; Toshka Lakes, Egypt; Quito, Ecuador; and the United States. Over half a million photos of our planet taken from aboard the station are available online at the Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

› Visit Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth

› Send a holiday postcard to the station crew


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Merry Christmas ISS, stay safe. :)

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