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Satnews Daily
April 5th, 2011

Russia... En Route To ISS (Launch)

[SatNews] Spacecraft named for Yuri Gargarin reaches orbit...

Russia's Soyuz TMA-21 piloted spacecraft was launched early on Tuesday to the International Space Station. The spacecraft atop a Soyuz-FG carrier rocket blasted off at 2:18 Moscow time (22:18 GMT Monday) from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz TMA-21 reached its designated orbit after separating from the carrier rocket and will dock with the ISS on April 7 at 3:18 Moscow time (23:18 GMT, April 6).

The launch of the Soyuz TMA-21 mission, photo courtesy of RIA Novosti

The new ISS crew consists of Russians Alexander Samokutyayev and Andrei Borisenko, and U.S. astronaut Ronald Garan. They will join the current crew comprising Russian cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev, European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli and NASA astronaut Catherine Coleman. The launch of the TMA-21, named '
  • Gagarin
  • ' to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Yury Gagarin's space flight, was originally scheduled for March 30th, but was postponed due to technical problems.