Houston: NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi safely launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station on Sunday. Liftoff occurred at 3:52 p.m. CST from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The three Soyuz crew members are scheduled to dock with their new home at 4:58 p.m., Tuesday. They will join Expedition 22 crew members Jeff Williams, a NASA astronaut and the station commander, and Max Suraev, a Russian cosmonaut and station flight engineer, aboard the orbiting laboratory.
The station's five residents have some busy months ahead. Kotov and Suraev will conduct a planned spacewalk in January from the Pirs airlock, part of the station's Russian segment. Less than a week later, Williams and Suraev will fly the Soyuz spacecraft that brought them to the station from its current location on the end of the outpost's Zvezda service module to the new Poisk module. In February, the crew will welcome a Progress unmanned resupply ship and space shuttle Endeavour's STS-130 mission. Endeavour and its crew will deliver the new Tranquility node and its cupola, one of the last major portions of the station to be installed.
Coverage of the docking of Creamer, Kotov and Noguchi will begin on NASA Television at 4:30 p.m. NASA TV will return at 6 p.m. for coverage of the hatches opening and the welcoming ceremony between the two crews, which will take place at about 6:29 p.m. For NASA TV streaming video, schedule and downlink information, visit:
Contact: John Yembrick