Astronauts dock at International Space Station

Dec 22, 2009
Top-bottom: Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, US astronaut Timothy J. Creamer and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov wave before boarding a Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft at Baikonur cosmodrome on December 20. A Russian rocket carrying three astronauts from Japan, Russia and the United States docked at the International Space Station Wednesday, the Russian flight control centre said.

A Russian rocket carrying three astronauts from Japan, Russia and the United States docked at the International Space Station Wednesday, the Russian flight control centre said.

The , which blasted off early Monday, docked at 1:48 am Moscow time (2248 GMT Tuesday), an official from the centre said in a report by the Interfax news agency.

It left from Russia's in the barren Kazakh steppe carrying Soichi Noguchi of Japan, US astronaut Timothy Creamer and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov.

The crew will now spend six months in orbit, during which time they will celebrate Christmas and ring in the new year.

The expedition has several technical goals including completing a new viewing platform for the station which will provide a 360 degree view of the heavens and bring the station another step closer to completion.

The ISS, which orbits 350 kilometres (220 miles) above Earth, is a sophisticated platform for scientific experiments, helping test the effects of long-term on humans, a must for any trip to distant Mars.

Explore further: Scars on Mars from 2012 rover landing fade—usually

Related Stories

Astronauts to carry Christmas cheer to ISS

Dec 19, 2009

Despite being separated from their families, astronauts heading to the International Space Station next week are excited to be spending Christmas in space, a crew member said Saturday.

Astronauts to taste 'space sushi'

Dec 03, 2009

US astronaut Timothy Creamer said on Thursday he was impatient to taste "space sushi" courtesy of his Japanese crewmate after they arrive on the International Space Station (ISS) later this month.

Astronauts blast off for Christmas space mission

Dec 20, 2009

(AP) -- A Russian rocket blasted off from a cosmodrome in Kazakhstan lighting up the frigid Central Asian steppe Monday, shuttling an American, a Russian and a Japanese to the International Space Station.

Russian cargo spacecraft nearing ISS

Jun 17, 2005

MOSCOW, June 17 (UPI) -- A Russian cargo spacecraft has been launched into orbit successfully and will reach the International Space Station Saturday, Russian space officials said.

Recommended for you

Comet dust—planet Mercury's 'invisible paint'

1 hour ago

A team of scientists has a new explanation for the planet Mercury's dark, barely reflective surface. In a paper published in Nature Geoscience, the researchers suggest that a steady dusting of carbon from p ...

It's 'full spin ahead' for NASA soil moisture mapper

4 hours ago

The 20-foot (6-meter) "golden lasso" reflector antenna atop NASA's new Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) observatory is now ready to wrangle up high-resolution global soil moisture data, following the successful ...

What drives the solar cycle?

5 hours ago

You can be thankful that we bask in the glow of a relatively placid star. Currently about halfway along its 10 billion year career on the Main Sequence, our sun fuses hydrogen into helium in a battle against ...

MESSENGER completes 4,000th orbit of Mercury

5 hours ago

On March 25, the MESSENGER spacecraft completed its 4,000th orbit of Mercury, and the lowest point in its orbit continues to move closer to the planet than ever before. The orbital phase of the MESSENGER ...

ESA recovers IXV spaceplane

5 hours ago

ESA's recovered IXV spaceplane arrived at the Port of Livorno in Italy yesterday and is set to be taken to Turin for final analysis.

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.