The full crew complement of Expedition 53. Top row: Randy Bresnik, Sergey Ryazansky and Paolo Nespoli. Bottom row: Joe Acaba, Alexander Misurkin and Mark Vande Hei. Photo Credit: NASA TV
The population of the International Space Station returned to six people as the crew of Soyuz MS-06 docked with and entered the outpost. The spacecraft hard-mated with its docking port at about 10:55 p.m. EDT Sept. 12 (02:55 GMT Sept. 13), 2017.
Soyuz MS-06 launches atop a Soyuz-FG rocket. Photo Credit: Bill Ingalls / NASA
About 2 hours later, at 1:08 a.m. EDT (05:08 GMT), the hatches between the Soyuz and space station were opened allowing Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba to float inside. They were greeted by the already-aboard Expedition 53 crew members Sergey Ryazansky of Russia, Randy Bresnik of NASA, and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency.
“It was a very smooth ride,” Vande Hei said during the customary post-docking conference with family members. “I saw the moon out the window; that was the first thing I saw. Coming up to the station was just absolutely incredible.”
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