Rocket Takes Crew To Space Station to Relieve Current Crew

    April 16, 2005

Yesterday a Russian rocket carrying a 3-man international crew was launched from Kazakhstan.

The rocket is on its way to the International Space Station where it will relieve the current ISS crew.

The rocket should take two days to reach the ISS, and its crew will replace the current ISS crew. The incoming crew consists of a Russian cosmonaut and two additional astronauts, one from the US and the other from Italy.

According to ABC News, the replacement crew is expecting to welcome the Space Shuttle Discovery, which has a launch window between May and June. Provided Discovery launches successfully, this will be the first American space craft to dock with the ISS since the Columbia disaster in February 2003. ABC’s article goes on to say:

Russia’s space program has been the station’s lifeline for two years, delivering fresh scientists and supplies to the orbiting laboratory.

Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and American John Phillips are heading for a six-month stay on the station. Italian Roberto Vittori, from the European Space Agency, was set to return to Earth in 10 days with Russian Salizhan Sharipov and American Leroy Chiao, who have been on the orbiting lab since October.

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