Feeds

US-Russian trio blast off to space station in Soyuz launch

Spacemen get ready for Elon Musk's Dragon docking

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Three new crew members blasted off in the wee hours of this morning for a two-day flight aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket to the International Space Station.

While Elon Musk is still dreaming of carrying people into space in his Dragon craft, and NASA's Shuttles rumble off into retirement, the Soyuz spacecraft is still the only way to get 'nauts up to the ISS.

This particular rocket, the TMA-04M, lifted off with NASA in Kazakhstan at 3am GMT, carrying astronaut Joe Acaba and Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin from Baikonur Cosmodrome. It is due to dock with the Poisk Mini-Research Module of the ISS at 4.38am on Thursday.

The three new spacemen will add to Commander Oleg Kononenko and Flight Engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers for a full Expedition 31 crew and will have a four-month tour of duty on the station.

Kononenko, Pettit and Kuipers arrived on December 23 and will be returning to Earth on July 1, and the three new guys will then become the lead 'nauts for Expedition 32.

As soon as the new guys get onboard, the crew will be busy preparing for the arrival of the first commercial craft to visit the station: the cargoship Dragon build by Musk's SpaceX, currently scheduled to arrive on 19 May.

Acaba and Padalka have both been on the ISS before, but the trip will be Revin's first ever in space.

Acaba was on the ISS in March 2009 and walked out in space for 12 hours and 57 minutes in total over two trips to the outside. Padalka is a space veteran having spent 198 days aboard the Russian space station Mir in 1999 and taking trips to the ISS in 2004 and 2009. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
NASA eyeballs SOLAR HEAT BOMBS, MINI-TORNADOES and NANOFLARES on Sun
Astro boffins probe fiery star's hidden depths
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.