Spacecraft delivers 3 to orbiting space station


In this image provided by NASA-TV the New Expedition 37 crew members, foreground from left: Mike Hopkins, Sergey Ryazanskiy and Oleg Kotov, were welcomed aboard the International Space Station Thursday Sept. 26, 2013 at 12:34 a.m. EDT. Their Soyuz spacecraft docked to the space station on Wed. at 10:45 p.m. EDT, four orbits after launch at 4:58 p.m. from Kazakhstan. The new residents were greeted by Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, rear center and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg, left, and Luca Parmitano. (AP Photo/NASA) | Zoom

MOSCOW (AP) - A Soyuz capsule carrying three astronauts successfully docked with the International Space Station early Thursday, bringing the size of the crew at the orbiting outpost to six. The new crew's six-month mission will include a spacewalk with the Olympic torch.

American Michael Hopkins and Russians Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky traveled six hours in the capsule from the Russian-leased launch pad in Kazakhstan before linking up with the space station's Russian Poisk research module at 6.45 a.m. Moscow time (0245GMT).

Kotov is the most experienced member of the crew with two previous six-month missions in space under his belt, while Hopkins and Ryazansky are both on their first missions.

The incoming crew entered the station nearly two hours after the docking, where they were welcomed by Russia's Fyodor Yurchikhin, NASA's Karen Nyberg and Italy's Luca Parmitano, who have been on the orbiting lab since May and will be returning to Earth in November.

Kotov and Ryazansky will have the honor of taking the Olympic torch into open space in November as part of the relay of the Olympic flame ahead of the Winter Games being held in Russia's Sochi in February. The torch will not be lit however, because of safety concerns. It will only arrive at the station in November with the next mission.

Shortly after entering the station, Hopkins, Kotov and Ryazansky had a chat via a video-link with their families back at the Baikonur launch pad where they had seen them off more than eight hours before.

Radiant but visibly tired, the astronauts were yawning as they were talking to their families. They had been up for about 20 hours.

Hopkins' mother described the launch as a "heart-stopping experience."

"It was a pretty good ride, mom. It was a lot of fun," Hopkins replied in the live broadcast on NASA TV.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Top Stories

  • The Principal's Office
    Somebody's in trouble - lawmakers have to face the State Supreme Court for a lack of action

  • Get Out of Jail Free?
    Why Seattle firefighters won't face felony charges in alleged homeless beating
ATTENTION COMMENTERS: We've changed our comments, but want to keep you in the conversation.
Please login below with your Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or Disqus account. Existing MyNorthwest account holders will need to create a new Disqus account or use one of the social logins provided below. Thank you.
comments powered by Disqus
Listen to the show
Hear GeekWire on KIRO Radio
Join Todd Bishop and John Cook weekends on KIRO Radio to talk Seattle technology.

Sign up for breaking news e-mail alerts from MyNorthwest.com
In the community
Do you know a student who stands out in the classroom, school and community?
Help make their dreams come true by nominating them for a $1,000 scholarship and a chance to earn a $10,000 Grand Prize. Brought to you by KIRO Radio and Comprehensive Wealth Management.

Do you know an exceptional citizen who has impacted and inspired others?
KIRO Radio and WSECU would like to recognize six oustanding citizens this year. Nominate them to be recognized and to receive a $2,000 charitable grant.