Russia’s TMA-07M spacecraft docked with the International Space Station early Dec. 21, delivering a three man crew that included the orbiting science laboratory’s prospective first Canadian commander.
The capsule carrying Chris Hadfield, a veteran Canadian Space Agency astronaut; Soyuz skipper Roman Romanenko, a Russian Air Force pilot; and NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn, a
former space agency flight surgeon, docked with the station’s Russian segment Rassvet module at 9:09 a.m., EST.
The three men lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Dec. 19 for a five month mission
Hadfield has trained to move up from station flight engineer to commander in mid-March, leading Expedition 35 through the end of the latest Soyuz crew’s stay.
The trio trained 2 ½ years for their tour of duty, which will include the arrival of up to five Russian, U. S. and European re-supply vessels as well as supervision of or participation in 130 science experiments and technology demonstrations.
The U. S. resupply craft could include the April arrival of the first Orbital Sciences Corp. Cygnus capsule mission carried out under NASA’s Commercial Orbital Transportation Systems
The newcomers were greeted by U. S. astronaut Kevin Ford, the station’s expedition 34commander; and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin.
The link up restored the station to six person operations for the first time since Nov. 19.