Expedition 32 Crew Arrives At Space Station
July 17, 2012

Expedition 32 Crew Arrives At Space Station

Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

A new crew arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday, completing the capsule's Expedition 32 crew.

The Soyuz capsule docked with the ISS, allowing NASA's Sunita Williams, Japan's Akihiko Hoshide, and Russian captain Yury Malenchenko to enter in to the orbiting outpost.

The new crew is stepping foot in the International Space Station on the anniversary when the U.S. and Soviet Union sent the Apollo and Soyuz spacecraft into space 37 years ago to dock for the first time.

On July 17, 1975, American astronauts and Soviet-Union cosmonauts rendezvoused and docked in space.

Today, Hoshide was the first to make his way to the ISS from the Soyuz capsule, being embraced by Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin as well as NASA's Joseph Acaba.

"It feels great. It is just like a homecoming," Malenchenko told Russia's ground control in a live teleconference conducted from the station's communication center.

"We can see right away that some things have changed. But (the station) is in great shape and the crew looks great," said the Russian. "We are happy to be here."

Malenchenko has the most experience of the new arrivals, with a space travel career that stretches back to 1994.

Hoshide began training for a flight to the ISS back in 1999, and helped set up Japan's Kibo laboratory on board the station on his previous mission in 2008. Williams spent nearly 200 days on board the ISS back in 2006 and 2007.

The full crew will begin a hectic schedule that includes preparations for the arrival of two Russian cargo vessels.