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New Trio Welcomed Aboard Station, Gets to Work
by Staff Writers
Houston TX (SPX) Nov 17, 2011

New Flight Engineer Anatoly Ivanishin (center) enters the International Space Station for the first time as Commander Mike Fossum (left) and Flight Engineer Sergei Volkov welcome him aboard. Image Credit: NASA TV.

Expedition 29 has expanded to six crew members. NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin docked the Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft to the Poisk mini-research module at 12:24 a.m. EST Wednesday. They are scheduled to live in space until March.

Expedition 29 Commander Mike Fossum and Flight Engineers Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov welcomed their new crewmates when the hatches were opened at 2:39 a.m.

After a welcoming ceremony with mission officials and family members, the station residents conducted the standard crew safety briefing. The new crew members familiarized themselves with potential hazards, safety equipment locations and escape routes.

Burbank is preparing for a pair of experiments on Thursday that observe a crew member's adaptation to microgravity. For the Integrated Immune experiment, he will provide saliva samples to help scientists develop immune monitoring strategies for long-duration missions.

Another experiment, Reaction, will require the new flight engineer to take a short test which measures fatigue resulting from the disruption of the circadian rhythm while living and working in space.

While the new arrivals settle into their new home, Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov prepare for their departure in the Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft next week.

They will undock from the Rassvet mini-research module and land in Kazakhstan Nov. 21 at 9:21 p.m. (8:21 a.m. Nov. 22, Kazakhstan time). Their undocking signifies the official start of Expedition 30.

Three additional Expedition 30 flight engineers - NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers - are scheduled to launch to the station Dec. 21.

Burbank is making his third visit to the station. His previous two visits were both aboard space shuttle Atlantis. During the STS-106 mission in September 2000, he helped prepare the station for its first permanent crew.

During STS-115 in September 2006, he and fellow Mission Specialist Steve MacLean conducted a 7-hour, 11-minute spacewalk that completed truss installation, activated the solar alpha rotary joint and enabled the solar arrays to be deployed. This is the first spaceflight for both Shkaplerov and Ivanishin.

Read more about Expedition 29

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