Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Space Travel News .




STATION NEWS
Russian rocket launches new crew to space
by Staff Writers
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (AFP) July 16, 2012


A Soyuz rocket blasted off with an international crew of three toward the International Space Station on Sunday in a mission testing the reliability of Russia's crisis-prone space programme.

NASA's Sunita Williams and Japan's Akihiko Hoshide and Yury Malenchenko of Russia started their journey on top of the Soyuz-FG under the open skies of the Kazakh steppe on schedule and without a hitch.

The trio gave big thumbs up after the needle-shaped craft pierced a thin layering of white clouds and safely reached orbit about nine minutes later.

"Goodbye Planet Earth for now! Woo Hoo!" Williams tweeted a few hours before the 305-tonne craft shook the ground with a violent orange explosion of booster rocket flames.

Russia's Roscosmos space programme chief Vladimir Popovkin told reporters that he spoke briefly to the crew members a few minutes into their journey and "They feel fine. I have no doubts that everything will go well."

Live footage from inside the Soyuz TMA-05M capsule that will dock to the ISS after a two-day journey showed a small doll in a red dress hanging before the three space travellers as a good luck charm as the rocket gathered pace.

The astronauts read calmly through thick printouts of their crew procedures while mission commander Malenchenko picked at some of the more distant controls on the panel with a black stick in his hand.

"That is one of the more low-tech aspects of the Soyuz spacecraft," the NASA flight commentator said in a live video feed.

"Some of those buttons are a little bit far away from the crew members so that stick makes it a little easier for him to access the controls."

The workhorse of Russian spaceflight -- briefly grounded last year amid a spate of launch accidents affecting cargo craft and satellites -- today represents the world's last human link to the international science lab.

The final launch of a US space shutle in July 2011 left nations dependent on the reliability of Russia's Soviet-era space achievements while governments and private companies scramble for new ways to launch humans to the station and beyond.

The US company SpaceX blazed a new path for private spaceflight by sending a cargo vessel called Dragon to the ISS in May.

But the reliability of such spacecraft is still too untested to entrust them with humans even as other companies join the private space race.

Russia's underfunded Roscosmos agency meanwhile has been hit by turmoil that saw several changes in leadership and bickering with other segments of the space programme -- particularly those responsible for updating the Soyuz.

Roscosmos had earlier this year released a somewhat vague mission statement through 2030 that emphasised new voyages to the Moon and the further scientific exploration of Mars while downplaying human spaceflight.

It also placed a short-term emphasis on purchasing foreign technology that could help bring Russia up to par with the United States.

The team speeding toward the ISS will join Russians Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin as well as NASA astronaut Joseph Acaba -- a crew that lifted off from the Moscow-leased launch centre in Kazakhstan on May 15.

Both Williams and Akihiko have experience on board the space station but had never before travelled on the Soyuz.

Akihiko particularly expressed thanks to those preparing the Russian craft for the journey and tweeted that "everybody is working with pride."

Williams -- a naval aviator who was once deployed to Iraq -- for her part told reporters that she will be excited to watch the London Summer Olympic Games from the station and put a much more global perspective on the event.

.


Related Links
Station at NASA
Station and More at Roscosmos
S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
Watch NASA TV via Space.TV
Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





STATION NEWS
Science, Maintenance for Station Crew; Launch Preps for New Crew Members
Houston TX (SPX) Jul 13, 2012
The Expedition 32 crew members living and working aboard the International Space Station Thursday focused on a variety of science experiments and maintenance activities. Flight Engineer Joe Acaba worked with the Burning and Suppression of Solids (BASS) experiment, which examines the burning and extinction characteristics of a wide variety of fuel samples in microgravity. The BASS exp ... read more


STATION NEWS
SpaceX Completes Design Review of Dragon

Arianespace to launch Taranis satellite for CNES

SpaceX Dragon Utilizes Cooper Interconnect Non-Explosive Actuators

ILS Proton Launches SES-5 For SES

STATION NEWS
NASA Mars images 'next best thing to being there'

Life's molecules could lie within reach of Mars Curiosity rover

Final Six-Member Crew Selected for Mars Food Mission

Opportunity Celebratres 3,000 Martian Days of Operation on the Surface of Mars!

STATION NEWS
ESA to catch laser beam from Moon mission

Researchers Estimate Ice Content of Crater at Moon's South Pole

Researchers find evidence of ice content at the moon's south pole

Nanoparticles found in moon glass bubbles explain weird lunar soil behaviour

STATION NEWS
Hubble Discovers a Fifth Moon Orbiting Pluto

Hubble telescope spots fifth moon near Pluto

New Horizons Doing Science in Its Sleep

It's a Sim: Out in Deep Space, New Horizons Practices the 2015 Pluto Encounter

STATION NEWS
Can Astronomers Detect Exoplanet Oceans

The Mysterious Case of the Disappearing Dust

Study in Nature sheds new light on planet formation

New Instrument Sifts Through Starlight to Reveal New Worlds

STATION NEWS
Cella Energy Signs Fuel Source Deal with Kennedy Space Center

HI-C Sounding Rocket Mission Has Finest Mirrors Ever Made

XCOR Aerospace And Midland Development Corp Announce New Commercial Spaceflight Research Center

Rocketdyne Completes CCDev 2 Hot Fire Testing on Thruster for NASA Commercial Crew Program

STATION NEWS
Shenzhou mission sparks 'science fever'

China Beats Russia on Space Launches

China open to cooperation

China set to launch bigger space program

STATION NEWS
Planetary Resources Announces Agreement with Virgin Galactic for Payload Services

Explained: Near-miss asteroids

The B612 Foundation Announces The First Privately Funded Deep Space Mission

Ex-NASA astronauts aim to launch asteroid tracker




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement