26.03.2009
FLUG REVUE

New crew launches to ISS in BaikonurNew astronauts launch to ISS

The 19th crew to live and work aboard the International Space Station launched into orbit Thursday morning from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, aboard a Soyuz spacecraft.

NASA astronaut Michael Barratt, Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, and spaceflight participant and U.S. software engineer Charles Simonyi lifted off at 6:49 a.m. CDT. They are scheduled to dock with the station at 8:14 a.m. Saturday, March 28.

Padalka will serve as commander of Expeditions 19 and 20  aboard the station. Barratt will serve as a flight engineer for those two missions. Padalka and Barratt's other crewmate is Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. He arrived to the station March 17 on space shuttle Discovery.

Simonyi, flying to the station under a commercial agreement with the Russian Federal Space Agency, previously visited the complex in April 2007. He is the first spaceflight participant to make a second flight to the station and will spend 10 days aboard. Simonyi will return to Earth April 7 with Expedition 18 Commander Michael Fincke and Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov, who have been on the station since October 2008.




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