An American woman, and men from Russia and France join the three crew members already aboard the International Space Station. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). A multinational crew, including a U.S. astronaut who is the oldest and most experienced woman to fly in space, arrived at the International Space Station on Saturday (November 19). The Russian Soyuz rocket carrying American Peggy Whitson, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet successfully docked at 3.58 pm central time (2358 GMT) and was greeted by NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Russian flight engineers Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, as the new team came through the hatch. Whitson, 56, a biochemist and NASA's former chief astronaut, is making her third trip to the station, a $100 million research laboratory that flies about 250 miles (420 km) above Earth. By the time she returns to Earth in six months, she will have accumulated more total time in orbit than any other U.S. astronaut, surpassing the 534-day record set in September by astronaut Jeff Williams. This is Novitskiy's second spaceflight. Joining the veteran fliers is Pesquet, 38, a rookie astronaut representing the European Space Agency. The combined crew will be one of the last six-member teams to live on the station for a while. Beginning in March, Russia plans to cut the number of cosmonauts serving on the station to two from three, following delays in launching a new science laboratory. The Multipurpose Laboratory Module is now expected to be launched in 2018.