Wednesday, December 23, 2009

NASA Astronauts Launch Toward Space Station

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft ascended into space Sunday carrying three new residents for the International Space Station (ISS).

NASA astronaut Timothy (T.J.) Creamer, Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov launched on time at 4:52 p.m. EDT on the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

"Everything's excellent onboard the vehicle," Kotov radioed shortly after the rocket hurtled into the sky. "Everybody feels great, no problems, no issues."

Kotov powered the flight, which should catch up with the orbiting laboratory on Tuesday at 5:58 p.m. EDT. The 3 spaceflyers are due to take up residence at the station as Expedition 22 flight engineers. Then in March 2010, Kotov will seize over the helm as commander of Expedition 23.


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