Russia delivers three astronauts to ISS

May 17, 2012
View from the balcony of the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, Russia. A Soyuz capsule carrying two Russians and an American on Thursday successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS), two days after their launch from Earth, officials said.

Two Russians and an American joined three colleagues aboard the International Space Station Thursday for a mission that should include receiving the orbiter's first visit from a private spacecraft.

The Soyuz TMA-04M capsule with Russians Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin and Joseph Acaba of NASA aboard automatically docked with the space station at 0436 GMT.

Russian mission control said the team unsealed the heavy hatch about two hours later and stepped onto to the international orbiter for what is expected to be a 126-day stay.

The trio blasted off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday morning in Russia's first manned space launch for almost five months after their start date was put back due to technical problems.

The three newcomers join Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Don Pettit and Dutch spaceman Andre Kuipers, who have already been on the station almost five months since their December launch.

Regular space missions stretch as long as six months but the new crew's visit was shortened by initial concerns about the safety of the Soyuz capsule's seal, forcing the replacement of the vessel.

The crew will compensate with a packed schedule comprised of hundreds of experiments and the expected arrival of the first private cargo vessel at the ISS.

Private firm SpaceX is seeking to launch its Dragon spacecraft carrying cargo for the ISS on May 19 from Cape Canaveral, Florida in what the company hopes will be the first step towards an eventual private manned mission.

Explore further: Start of dwarf planet mission delayed after small mix-up

Related Stories

Three astronauts to land from ISS Friday

Apr 27, 2012

Three astronauts are due to land on Earth Friday after almost six months on board the International Space Station (ISS), the Russian flight control centre said on its website.

Russian rocket docks with space station

Dec 17, 2010

A Russian Soyuz space rocket carrying three astronauts on Friday docked with the International Space Station (ISS), Russia's mission control said.

Three-man Soyuz crew departs for space station

May 15, 2012

(AP) -- A three-man crew blasted off from a space center in southern Kazakhstan Tuesday morning on board a Russian-made Soyuz craft for a four-and-half-month stay at the International Space Station.

Russia sets space crew's return after crash

Sep 12, 2011

Russia said Monday it would return three of the six international crew members on board the International Space Station to Earth later this week despite no immediate plans to send up their replacement.

Russia sends multinational crew to ISS

Dec 21, 2011

Russia on Wednesday sent a multinational crew of three astronauts to the International Space Station on a Soyuz rocket from its Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Recommended for you

Can sound help us detect 'earthquakes' on Venus?

Apr 23, 2015

Detecting an "earthquake" on Venus would seem to be an impossible task. The planet's surface is a hostile zone of crushing pressure and scorching temperatures—about 874 degrees F, hot enough to melt lead—that ...

Titan's atmosphere useful in study of hazy exoplanets

Apr 23, 2015

With more than a thousand confirmed planets outside of our solar system, astronomers are attempting to identify the atmospheres of these distant bodies to determine if they could possibly host life.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.