Three new astronauts join crew of International Space Station

The International Space Station has three new residents, doubling its crew size.

Three new astronauts join crew of International Space Station

The International Space Station has three new residents, doubling its crew size.

An American, a Russian and a Japanese arrived at the orbiting lab on Tuesday, two days after launching from Kazakhstan.

They received special greetings from America’s new ambassador to Russia. Jon Huntsman gathered with the astronauts’ families at Mission Control outside Moscow to watch the new crew’s entrance.

Mr Huntsman told newly arrived Nasa astronaut Scott Tingle that he got a tear in his eye as he watched Mr Tingle’s family when the hatches opened.

Raynette Tingle, front left, along with her sons Sean, center and Eric, listen as Expedition 54 flight engineers Scott Tingle of Nasa and Raynette’s husband, bottom left, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, bottom center, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) bottom right, are seen with flight engineer Joe Acaba of Nasa, top left, Commander Alexander Misurkin, top center, and flight engineer Mark Vande Hei of Nasa, top right, on a video monitor aboard the International Space Station as they speak with family and friends at the Moscow Mission Control Center in Korolev, Russia (Joel Kowsky/Nasa via AP)
Raynette Tingle, front left, along with her sons Sean, center and Eric, listen as Expedition 54 flight engineers Scott Tingle of Nasa and Raynette’s husband, bottom left, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, bottom center, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) bottom right, are seen with flight engineer Joe Acaba of Nasa, top left, Commander Alexander Misurkin, top center, and flight engineer Mark Vande Hei of Nasa, top right, on a video monitor aboard the International Space Station as they speak with family and friends at the Moscow Mission Control Center in Korolev, Russia (Joel Kowsky/Nasa via AP)

The ambassador said it was "the most special thing" being there and feeling the emotion.

Mr Tingle flew up in a Soyuz capsule with Russia’s Anton Shkaplerov and Japan’s Norishige Kanai.

The space station is now back to a full crew of six.

Mr Tingle’s three children radioed encouragement as well. "Hey, space suits you. Dig it," said daughter Amy.

The Navy captain and ISS first-timer arrived with Mr Shkaplerov, a space station resident for the third time, and Mr Kanai, a surgeon making his first space flight.

They joined two Americans and a Russian at the station and will remain on board until June.

Nasa’s space station programme manager, Kirk Shireman, told the crew it was "quite a treat" hearing so many languages spoken in Russia’s Mission Control and in orbit.

"We know you’ll have a great time on board. Unfortunately, there’s a little work to go along with your great time. But we’re all here rooting for you and working for you as well," Mr Shireman said.

Three astronauts who were aboard for five months returned to Earth last week.

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