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U. S., Canadian, Russian Crew Departs for the Space Station


Soyuz rocket departs for the space station early Wednesday. Photo Credit/NASA TV


A Soyuz rocket with U. S.,  Canadian and Russian astronauts sped toward a linkup with the International Space Station early Friday, following a flawless lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA’s Tom Marshburn, CSA’s Chris Hadfield and Roman Romanenko, of ROSCOSMOS, soared from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Wednesday at 7:12 a.m.,  EST.

Chris Hadfield, Roman Romanenko and Tom Marshburn, left to right, gather before their five month flight to the International Space Station. Photo Credit/NASA

“We’re feeling great,” the three men reported as they settled into Earth orbit. “Everything is nominal.”

Their Soyuz capsule will be greeted Friday by the station’s current Expedition 34 crew, U. S. astronaut Kevin Ford and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin. The linkup will restore the station to normal six person operations for the first time since mid-November.

Hadfield, 53, is scheduled to assume command of the station from Ford in mid-March, the first Canadian to achieve the distinction. The former Canadian Air Force test pilot became the first from his country to walk in space during a 2001 shuttle assembly mission to the space station.

Marshburn, 52, is a former NASA flight surgeon. He also carried out spacewalks during a 2009 shuttle space station assembly mission.

Romanenko, 41, is the son of former Soviet era cosmonaut Yuri Romanenko.  A Russian Air Force pilot, he spent 1888 days aboard the station as a flight engineer in 2009.





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