Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Off-Duty Day for New Expanded Crew

ISS022-E-014044 -- Expedition 22 crew

Image above: Wearing festive holiday hats, the Expedition 22 crew speaks with officials from Russia, Japan and the United States. In the front row are Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev (left) and Commander Jeff Williams. Behind them, left to right, are newly-arrived Flight Engineers Oleg Kotov, T.J. Creamer and Soichi Noguchi. Credit: NASA

Following the arrival of the three new Expedition 22 crew members Tuesday, the crew aboard the International Space Station had an off-duty day Wednesday.

The crew members spent most of the day sleeping due to the late finish of the docking activities.

NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi docked with their new home at 5:48 p.m. EST Tuesday. The trio launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft at 4:52 p.m. Sunday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

From inside the station, Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev monitored the approach of the Russian spacecraft as it docked to the Earth-facing port of the Zarya module.

After completion of leak checks, the hatches between the two vehicles were opened at 7:30 p.m. Williams and Suraev, who arrived at the station Oct. 2 aboard the Soyuz TMA-16, welcomed the new Expedition 22 flight engineers aboard their orbital home for the next five months.

Creamer, 50, is making his first flight into space. Selected as an astronaut in 1998, Creamer was a support astronaut for the Expedition 3 crew and worked with hardware integration and robotics.

Kotov, 44, is making his second spaceflight, having previously served six months aboard the station as an Expedition 15 flight engineer in 2007. Kotov will be a flight engineer for Expedition 22 and assume the duties of Expedition 23 commander when Williams and Suraev depart in March 2010.

Noguchi is making his second spaceflight. He flew on the STS-114 return-to-flight mission of Discovery in 2005 and conducted three spacewalks totaling more than 20 hours.

› View imagery of Expedition 22 docking

› Read more about Expedition 22
› View crew timelines

› Read more about the station's butterfly experiment

2010 International Space Station Calendar

NASA is offering a 2010 calendar that describes the work being done on the International Space Station and gives information about the crews that have lived there. The calendar contains photographs taken from the space station and highlights historic NASA milestones and fun facts about the international construction project of unprecedented complexity that began in 1998. (Note: In order to print the document correctly, please select the two-sided print option in your printer dialog box)