New Space Crew to Launch From Winter Wonderland on Wednesday

20 Dec

The Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft stands on the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The vehicle is slated to carry three new crewmembers to the International Space Station on Wednesday (Dec. 21).

A diverse crew of veteran spacemen is poised to blast off toward the International Space Station on Wednesday (Dec. 21) to double the population of the orbital outpost just in time for Christmas.

NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, and Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers, part of the European Space Agency (ESA) will join three men already living aboard the space station as Expedition 30 flight engineers.

The trio will lift off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan early Wednesday at 8:16 a.m. EST (1316 GMT) aboard a Russian Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft. They are expected to arrive at the orbiting laboratory on Friday (Dec. 23) at 10:22 a.m. EST (1522 GMT).

With the arrival coinciding with the holiday season, the space station’s current crew is already planning a warm reception for the new arrivals. In a holiday video message from space, station commander Daniel Burbank of NASA said the orbiting lab is festooned with decorations to mark the December and January holidays.

2

Apollo 8 Christmas Eve BroadcastCredit: NASA.Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon, entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1968. The three astronauts aboard, Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders, made a live televisionbroadcast in which they sent Christmas greetings back to the Earth. Above, an image of the Earth taken near the moon during Apollo 8.



 

 


 

071223-exp16-prog27-flight-02

Space Station Cargo Ship Launches With Gifts, SuppliesCredit: Russian Federal Space Agency.A Russian Soyuz rocket launches the Progress 27 cargo ship toward the International Space Station on Dec. 23, 2007 to deliver fresh supplies, birthday gifts and Christmas presents.

 


 


 

Skylab-christmas-tree-cans

A Skylab ChristmasCredit: NASAThe first American Christmas holiday aboard a space station occurred in 1973 during the Skylab 4 mission to the first American space station Skylab. The station’s three-man crew saved up their food cans to create this space Christmas tree.

 

 

 

http://www.space.com/13998-russian-rocket-launch-space-station-crew-christmas.html

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