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Soyuz Docks With Space Station & Increases Crew to Six

The Russian Soyuz space capsule carrying three new crew members docked with the International Space Station on Friday morning at 8:34AM EDT. Today marks the first time in the space station’s history that six crew members will be living on board as full time residents.

Awaiting the the newest arrivals were the Expedition 19 crew members already on board the ISS. ISS crew members Commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineers Koichi Wakata and Mike Barratt opened the hatched between the Soyuz and Zarya module at 10:14 AM. Shortly after they performed a welcome ceremony and the new crew members were briefed on safety protocols.

Expedition 20 marks the first time that all five of the international partner agencies NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, the European Space Agency and the Canadian Space Agency will be represented on orbit. The two cosmonauts Padalka and Romanenko are from Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency; Barratt is from NASA; Thirsk is from the Canadian Space Agency; De Winne is from the European Space Agency; and Wakata is from the Japan Aerospace and Exploration Agency.

When Space Shuttle Endeavor and its crew arrives to the Space Station next month, there will be a record breaking 13 people on the space station, however only for a short period of time.

I only hope the new crew members like drinking recycled urine!

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