Wednesday, April 06, 2011

New Crew Docks at ISS; Wife Has Credit Card

The population on the International Space Station doubled to six tonight after the high-flying arrival of the final three members of the 27th expedition to the frontier outpost.

Soyuz commander Alexander Samokutyaev floated into the station along with cosmonaut colleague Andrey Borisenko and U.S. astronaut Ronald Garan about 10:13 p.m. EDT as the spacecraft flew 220 miles above the planet.

They join outpost commander Dmitry Kondratyev, U.S. astronaut Catherine "Cady" Coleman and Italian astronaut Paulo Nespoli of the European Space Agency.

There were handshakes and hugs aboard the station and then a welcome ceremony that included good wishes from family members gathered at the Russian Mission Control Center in the city of Korolev outside Moscow.

Birthday greetings were relayed to Nespoli. He turned 54 today. Nespoli, Kondratyev and Coleman arrived in December and will return to Earth in mid-May.

Newly arrived Garan and his crewmates will live and work on the station until September.

Garan's wife, Carmel, sent best wishes and gave the astronaut just one important reminder:

"And by the way, I have your credit card."

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