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U.S., Russian and Japanese Astronauts Join Space Station Crew

Soyuz crew transport delivers NASA's Sunita Williams, Japan's Akihiko Hoshide and Russia's Yuri Malenchenko. Photo credit/NASA photo

 

The International Space Station resumed six crew operations early Tuesday with the arrival of the 31 Soyuz mission spacecraft delivering U. S., Japanese and Russian astronauts.

The two spacecraft docked at 12:51 a.m., EDT, as they flew 252 miles over northeast Kazakhstan.

Soyuz commander Yuri Malenchenko, NASA’s Sunita Williams and Japan’s Akihiko Hoshide were greeted by the station’s Expedition 32 commander Gennady Padalka, of Russia, cosmonaut Sergei Revin and U.S. astronaut Joe Acaba.

The newcomers replace U.S., Russian and European astronauts that returned to Earth on July 1.

The larger crew faces a busy six weeks of working with Russian and Japanese re-supply ships, more than 200 on going science experiments and a pair of August spacewalks. The Russian and U. S.spacewalks will in part prepare the station for the arrival of a new Russian research module in late 2013.

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