HOUSTON, July 17 � A cheerful Sunita Williams and two of her colleagues today successfully docked their Soyuz capsule with the International Space Station for a four-month scientific mission, two days after the record-setting Indian- American astronaut blasted off for her second space odyssey, reports PTI.
46-year-old NASA astronaut Williams, Russian Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency flight engineer Akihiko Hoshide arrived at the ISS after two days in orbit aboard Russian-made Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft, which took off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan on Sunday. �Everything is perfect,� Malenchenko radioed Russia�s Mission Control Centre in Korolev after joining three astronauts who have been on the space station since May. The Soyuz capsule docked automatically with the Rassvet module at around 10:21 IST.
The hatches between the Soyuz and the Rassvet module was opened at 0723 GMT (12:53 IST) and Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin greeted their new crewmates.
�The six-member crew conducted a welcoming ceremony with family and mission officials then participated in a safety briefing,� NASA said in a statement.
�It feels great. It is just like a homecoming,� Malenchenko said, adding that, �We can see right away that some things have changed. But (the station) is in great shape and the crew looks great. We are happy to be here.�