Russia launches astronauts to space station

A Russian rocket carrying two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut blasted off successfully on Tuesday for the International Space Station.

Russia's Oleg Novitskiy and Evgeny Tarelkin and NASA's Kevin Ford blasted off in a Soyuz TMA-06M space craft on schedule at 1051 GMT from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, an AFP correspondent said.

Russian state television showed live footage of the astronauts strapped into the cramped craft and reading instructions, with their mascot, a toy hippo with a "Russia" logo swinging above them.

"The launch of the piloted ship Soyuz TMA-06M took place at 1451 Moscow time," the Russian space agency said in a statement.

"The Soyuz TMA-06M separated from the rocket's third stage as scheduled and was brought into the correct orbit."

The Soyuz spacecraft is due to dock with the ISS on Thursday at 1235 GMT.

The crew will join NASA's Sunita Williams, Russia's Yuri Malenchenko and Japan's Akihiko Hoshide, who arrived in July and are due to leave in mid-November.

The trio had been set to blast off on October 15 but the lift-off was delayed due to the need to replace a piece of the on-board equipment. The astronauts are set to land back on Earth in March 2013.

The Russian cosmonauts are making their first journey into space, while flight engineer Ford flew to the ISS in 2009 on the US shuttle. He will take over command when Williams leaves in November.

Their time on the ISS will begin with a busy schedule since Russia is preparing to send a Progress supply ship to the ISS on October 31.

The next manned mission to the ISS is due to launch in December.

Russia has a flawless record of delivering astronauts into space in its Soyuz crafts and since the mothballing of United States' shuttles it is now the only country ferrying astronauts to the ISS.

However one of its unmanned Progress ships taking supplies to the ISS crashed into Siberia in August last year after its launch on a Soyuz.

Russia is also struggling to overcome a series of technical problems that has dogged its satellite launches, prompting heads to roll in its space industry and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev to criticise money being "thrown to the wind."

In August this year, a Proton-M rocket failed to launch two satellites into space.

Last year a huge European satellite launched on a Proton-M rocket failed to reach the correct orbit and was lost, causing the temporary grounding of the rockets, while a military satellite was also sent into the wrong orbit.

The failures were particularly embarrassing as Russia was celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first man going into orbit, Yuri Gagarin.

In 2010, a Russian rocket carrying three satellites for its GLONASS navigation system was sent on the wrong trajectory and the satellites crashed into the Pacific.

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused
    Sandigan OKs hospital stay for GMA co-accused

    The Sandiganbayan has allowed a government official, accused with plunder along with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to undergo a medical procedure at a hospital tomorrow. The anti-graft court permitted former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) board member Benigno Aguas to undergo a cardiopulmonary/endocrine clearance at the St. Luke’s Medical Center in Quezon City. …

  • Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy
    Sandigan recommends executive clemency for ex-envoy

    The Sandiganbayan has recommended executive clemency for a former Philippine ambassador to Nigeria who was sentenced to 52 years for malversation of public funds. The Sandiganbayan First Division found Masaranga Umpa guilty of misusing the Assistance-To-Nationals Stand-by Funds totaling $80,478.80 in 2007, but the anti-graft court said the former assemblyman from Lanao del Norte should be pardoned. …

  • Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour
    Stargazing at the mall highlights Earth Hour

    It was a night of stargazing in 58 SM Supermalls all over the country last night as these establishments participated in Earth Hour, an annual worldwide movement encouraging communities and establishments to switch off lights for one hour to raise global awareness of overuse of non-renewable resources. The Philippines has been an active participant of Earth Hour since 2008. Last night, in the province of Bulacan, for instance, all parishes, diocesan institutions, schools and household …

  • Payanig privatization hit
    Payanig privatization hit

    BLEMP Commercial of the Philippines, Inc. (BLEMP) denounced the recent announcement of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) to privatize the 18.4-hectare “Payanig sa Pasig” property. In a statement sent to The STAR , BLEMP lawyer Dennis Manalo said the PCGG has no right to auction the property because it has no valid title and is not in possession. The PCGG has not paid a single centavo in real property taxes for the property, he said. He narrated that it was in the early …

  • New species of tarantula found
    New species of tarantula found

    Scientists from the Museum of Natural History (MNH) of the University of the Philippines-Los Baños have discovered a new species of cave-dwelling tarantula on an island off the coast of Quezon. The new species of the spider, Phlogiellus kwebaburdeos, was described in the recent issue of the Philippine Journal of Systematic Biology by MNH curators for spiders Aimee Lynn Dupo and Alberto Barrion along with their former student Joseph Rasalan. The tarantula was discovered by Rasalan during …

  • Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others
    Palm Sunday: Do not add to suffering of others

    As Christendom enters Holy Week today, Palm Sunday, an official of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) yesterday called on the faithful not to add to the sufferings of their fellowmen. Jerome Secillano, executive secretary of the CBCP-Episcopal Commission on Public Affairs (ECPA), said that while Palm Sunday is oftentimes remembered as the glorious arrival of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, it also signals the start of the Holy Week that tells of His suffering, death and …

  • Miriam pushes tougher graft law
    Miriam pushes tougher graft law

    Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed a bill that would make public officials liable for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act even if they are elected to a fresh term or a new position. In filing Senate Bill 2716, Santiago sought to address what she said was the doctrine of condonation in Philippine jurisprudence brought about by the 2010 case of Salumbides vs. Ombudsman. Santiago also cited the older case of Pascual vs. Hon. “By merely asserting the doctrine of …

  • Phl hits back at China over sea infra work
    Phl hits back at China over sea infra work

    The Philippines assailed China yesterday for contesting Manila’s planned repair and maintenance works on some islands in the West Philippine Sea, saying they are “in no way comparable” to the Asian power’s massive reclamation activities which are in violation of international laws. “The Philippines’ possible undertaking of necessary maintenance and repairs on its existing facilities in the West Philippine Sea, over which the Philippines rightfully exercises sovereignty, sovereign rights and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options