Expedition 42 has ended

Front row are NASA astronauts Barry Wilmore (left), commander; and Terry Virts, flight engineer. From the left (back row) are Russian cosmonauts Elena Serova, Alexander Samoukutyaev and Anton Shkaplerov and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti, all flight engineers. Photo credit: NASA/Bill Stafford

The crew of the Soyuz TMA-14M undocked from the International Space Station today bringing to an end the Expedition 42 mission on the station. Astronaut Barry Wilmore and Cosmonauts Elena Serova and Alexander Samokutyaev spent 167 days aboard the station during which time they performed six EVA’s and saw the arrival of three cargo vehicles and departure of four.

During the spacewalks the crews prepared the station for the reconfiguration to allow the new commercial crew vehicles being built by Boeing and SpaceX to dock with the station, and the additional of a new inflatable module from Bigelow Aerospace.

The crew also spent a significant amount of time working on numerous experiments during there time on the station including on themselves.

Below are some images captured from the closing of the hatch. We will post a followup article once the crew has landed safely later today.

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Station crew returns to six

Following a picture perfect launch earlier today and successful docking this evening the station crew is back to six members after the hatches between the Soyuz and Station were opened.

Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency, who will spend the next six months aboard the station, greeted there fellow Expedition 42 crew members after floating through the hatch into the station.  Once on board the traditional welcome call with mission control in Russia allowed the crew to speak with friends and family.

The crew will have a busy time while at the station with 40 hours of science research per week, two spacewalks, several visiting vehicles including two Dragon’s.  For more information on the goals of the mission check out the NASA site here.

Samantha is the 216th person to visit the station.

Below are some screen grabs of the hatch opening and welcome ceremony.

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TMA-15M arrives at International Space Station #ISS

Following a four orbit, six hour journey to the International Space Station, the crew of TMA-15M Terry Virts, Anton Shkaplerov and Samantha Cristoforetti have arrived safely, a series of leak checks will now be performed before the hatches between the two vehicles can be opened and the crew can enter the station.

Below are screen grabs of the approach and docking

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Expedition 42 crew launched successfully

This afternoon Terry Virts, Anton Shkaplerov and Samantha Cristoforetti began there six hour, four orbit journey to the International Space Station.  Launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-15M liftoff occurred on time at 14:01 pm EST.  Docking and hatch opening will occur later today, we will post again following each event.

Below are some screen captures from the launch

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