New Trio Launches to Join Expedition 34
Three new crew members are on their way to join their Expedition 34 crewmates aboard the International Space Station. They launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft at 7:12 a.m. EST (6:12 p.m. Baikonur time) Wednesday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.
Flight Engineers Tom Marshburn, Roman Romanenko and Chris Hadfield will orbit the Earth for two days before docking to the Rassvet module at 9:12 a.m. 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.
Hadfield last visited the station in April 2001 aboard space shuttle Endeavour as an STS-100 mission specialist. He helped install the Canadarm2, the station’s robotic arm, during two spacewalks. Hadfield will be Canada’s first station commander when Expedition 35 begins. Marshburn went to the station in July 2009 aboard shuttle Endeavour for the STS-127 mission. He performed three spacewalks to help complete the construction of the Japanese Kibo laboratory module.
Romanenko served as a flight engineer for Expedition 20/21 for six months in 2009.
Expedition 34 will be a six-member crew until March 2013 when Ford, Novitskiy and Tarelkin undock from the Poisk module and return home inside the Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft for a landing in Kazakhstan. When they undock Expedition 35 will officially begin as Hadfield becomes commander staying behind with Marshburn and Romanenko before finally returning home in May 2013.
Back on Earth three more crew members are training for their upcoming launch to the station. NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Alexander Misurkin and Pavel Vinogradov will complete the Expedition 35 crew when they launch to the orbiting laboratory in March 2013.