Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Soyuz TMA-06M launches to ISS

Blast-off in Baikonur.

This morning a Soyuz rocket took off from the Russian space center in Baikonur, carrying the second half of the Expedition 33 crew to the ISS. On board were astronaut Kevin Ford, and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin. They will join Expedition 33 commander Suni Williams, astronaut Aki Hoshide and cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko who have been on the station since July 17.

Nice ascent to orbit.

As usual, the second part of the current expedition 33 will become the next expedition's primary crew once the current commander and crew depart. When Commander Williams and her crew leave in November, then Kevin Ford will become the Expedition 34 commander and his crew will await their second half in December.

The Soyuz is expected to dock with ISS at 8:35 a.m. Thursday.

Expedition 33 prime crew. L-R: Tarelkin, Novitskiy, Ford.  Evgeny Novitskiy commands the Soyuz to the ISS. Picture taken in front of the Soyuz TMA-06M capsule before it was integrated with its launcher. They are expected to remain on ISS for five months.

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