All-Ham Contingent Carries Olympic Torch to ISS; Crews Prepare to Swap Places
NASA’s Richard Mastracchio, KC5ZTE, Russia’s Mikhail Tyurin, RZ3FT, and Japan’s Koichi Wakata, KC5ZTA, arrived at the International Space Station November 7, expanding the ISS crew complement to nine members. The new crewmembers carried the torch that will be used to light the Olympic flame in Sochi, Russia, for the 2014 Winter Games.
The arrival of Mastracchio, Tyurin and Wakata brings the station’s crew complement to nine, marking the first time since October 2009 that so many people have served together aboard the space station.
The crew will return to its normal complement of six on November 10, when Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin, RN3FI, NASA Astronaut Karen Nyberg, and European Space Agency Astronaut Luca Parmitano, KF5KDP, return to Earth, wrapping up a 166 day mission. Expedition 38 begins upon their departure, with Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Kotov at the helm.
Kotov, Russian Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, and NASA’s Michael Hopkins, KF5LJG, will return home next March. At that time, Wakata will become the first-ever Japanese commander of the station for Expedition 39. Mastracchio, Tyurin and Wakata will return to Earth next May. — NASA