Expedition 37 Takes Off

Expedition 37 takes off for the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)
Expedition 37 takes off for the International Space Station. (Credit: NASA)

Expedition 37
NASA Mission Update

A new trio of Expedition 37 residents is on its way to the International Space Station. Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineers Mike Hopkins and Sergey Ryazanskiy launched aboard a Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft at 4:58 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

They will join their orbiting crewmates just four orbits later when they dock to the Poisk mini-research module at 10:48 p.m. After the hatches open, the new residents will participate in a welcome ceremony at 12:25 a.m. with Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg and Luca Parmitano.

Kotov, Hopkins and Ryazanskiy are scheduled for a 5-1/2 month stay in space living and working inside the orbital laboratory. They are due to return home in March 2014 landing in Kazakhstan inside the same Soyuz spacecraft they arrived in.

This is Kotov’s third space station mission. He served as a flight engineer for Expedition 15 in 2007. Kotov was also commander in 2010 for Expedition 23. Hopkins and Ryazanskiy are both on their first space mission.

Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano have been aboard the space station since May 28. They have seen the arrival of two international resupply ships and one commercial cargo craft.

Since they began their mission, Yurchikhin has participated in three Russian spacewalks. Parmitano conducted two U.S. spacewalks. Nyberg captured Japan’s Kounotori-4 resupply ship while at the controls of the Canadarm2.