[image-51]Following a marathon day that saw the launch and docking of three new crewmates, the fully staffed Expedition 40 crew of the International Space Station enjoyed a day off Thursday to rest and recharge for the mission ahead.
NASA astronaut Reid Wiseman, Soyuz Commander and cosmonaut Max Suraev of Roscosmos, the Russian Federal Space Agency, and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Alexander Gerst were welcomed aboard the station when the hatches between their Soyuz TMA-13M spacecraft and the station were opened at 11:52 p.m. EDT Wednesday.
Commander Steve Swanson of NASA and Flight Engineers Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos, who have been aboard the orbiting complex since March 27, greeted the newly arrived flight engineers. Afterward, all six crew members moved into the Zvezda service module so the station’s three newest residents could receive congratulatory calls from family members and VIPs gathered at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
[image-92]Wiseman, Suraev and Gerst launched from Baikonur at 3:57 p.m. (1:57 a.m. Thursday, Kazakh time) and docked to the station’s Rassvet module at 9:44 p.m. During the next two weeks they will have time set aside to become accustomed to living and working aboard the station, which is larger than a six-bedroom house.
During their six-month stay on the orbiting laboratory, Wiseman, Suraev and Gerst will conduct hundreds of scientific investigations and technology demonstrations. These include Earth remote sensing, an assessment of human behavior and performance, and studies of bone and muscle physiology.
The new crew members will perform several other experiments that cover human health and safety, biological and physical sciences, technology development, and Earth observations, as well as engage in educational activities.
In the months ahead, the Expedition 40 crew will conduct a pair of Russian spacewalks and as many as three U.S. spacewalks. They also will greet a Russian Progress spacecraft resupply flight, the fifth and final ESA Automated Transfer Vehicle, Orbital Science's second commercial resupply flight and the fourth supply delivery for SpaceX Dragon.
The Expedition 40 crew will kick off its first full workday as a six-person crew Friday at 2 a.m., the standard wakeup time for the international crew.