NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, KG5FYJ, astronaut Takuya Onishi, KF5LKS, of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos officially joined their Expedition 48 International Space Station (ISS) crew members on July 9 at 0626 UTC, when the hatches opened between their Soyuz MS-01 and the space station. There now are four radio amateurs onboard the ISS.
Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams, KD5TVQ, of NASA, and Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka, RN3FU, and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos greeted the newcomers. Rubins, Onishi, and cosmonaut Ivanishin replaced Expedition 47 Commander Tim Kopra, KE5UDN; Flight Engineer Tim Peake, KG5BVI/GB1SS, and Yuri Malenchenko, RK3DUP, who returned to Earth in mid-June after a little more than 6 months in space.
Later this summer, Williams and Rubins are scheduled to install the first of two international docking adapters, soon to launch to the ISS. The adapters will allow commercial spacecraft to dock to the station in the near future when transporting astronauts as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program.
Rubins, Ivanishin and Onishi are scheduled to remain aboard the station until late October. The trio launched early on July 7 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, traveling to the ISS onboard an upgraded Soyuz MS-01 spacecraft on its maiden voyage. Williams, Skripochka and Ovchinin will return to Earth in September.