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STATION NEWS
Soyuz docks at Space Station; Expedition 42 joins crew
by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) Nov 24, 2014


Expedition 42 Trio Launches on Time to Station
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (SPX) Nov 24, 2014 - The Soyuz TMA-15M launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 4:01 p.m. EST (3:01 a.m. on Nov. 24 Baikonur time). Terry Virts of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Samantha Cristoforetti of the European Space Agency now are safely in orbit.

Virts, Shkaplerov and Cristoforetti will dock with the station's Rassvet module at 9:53 p.m. Welcoming them aboard will be the current station residents, Expedition 42 Commander Barry "Butch" Wilmore of NASA and Alexander Samoukutyaev and Elena Serova of Roscosmos.

Wilmore, Samoukutyaev and Serova arrived at the space station in September aboard their Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft and will remain aboard until March 2015.

Some of the cargo flown aboard this Soyuz will be used in research investigations that are either ongoing or planned aboard the International Space Station. Items such as questionnaires will be delivered to obtain in-flight data about crew member characteristics, such as day-to-day changes in health or incidence of pain or pressure in microgravity.

One such investigation is Space Headaches which uses questionnaires to collect information about the prevalence and characteristics of crew members' headaches in microgravity. This information is used to develop future countermeasures for headaches often caused by intracranial pressure change.

Researchers will also use biological sample kits delivered by the Soyuz spacecraft to obtain samples of blood, saliva or urine. The ongoing collection of biological samples from crew

members help scientists determine if immune system impairment caused by spaceflight increases the possibility for infection or poses a significant health risk during life aboard the space station.

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut has safely docked with the International Space Station, NASA said.

Samantha Cristoforetti, along with Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and American astronaut Terry Virts, arrived at the orbiting space lab on the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft at 0249 GMT Monday, NASA said.

"A new vehicle has arrived. The Soyuz is confirmed as attached properly," high above the Pacific Ocean, NASA television added.

Cristoforetti, Virts and Shkaplerov docked just under six hours after taking off from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They are to stay at the space station until May 2015.

Their voyage will mean major food upgrades for the astronauts aboard, with nearly a kilo of caviar in their baggage and an espresso machine.

"There will be 15 boxes of 30 grammes each of caviar, but also apples, oranges, tomatoes and 140 doses of freeze dried milk and black tea without sugar," a space station official was quoted as saying by Russian press agency TASS.

Astronauts on the station will also finally be able to enjoy a decent brew thanks to the 20-kilogramme machine designed by famed Italian coffee makers Lavazza and engineering firm Argotec, which specialises in making space food.

Cristoforetti, 37, who is also a captain in the Italian air force, "will be not only the first female astronaut from Italy to go into space, but also the very first astronaut in the history of the conquest of space to savour an authentic Italian espresso in orbit," the two companies said in a statement.

In total 16 countries work on the ISS, including Russia and the United States, which finances most of its operation. A team of astronauts is always aboard, with stays of up to six months.

Launched into orbit in 1998, this outpost and orbiting laboratory, which cost $500 billion (404 billion euros) to build, saw its lifespan extended by another four years by NASA. It's now expected to remain in service until 2024.

NASA depends entirely on Russia to send its astronauts to the ISS, which costs the United States $70 million (56 million euros) per person in Soyuz rockets.

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Related Links
Station at NASA
Station and More at Roscosmos
S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
Watch NASA TV via Space.TV
Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com






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STATION NEWS
Italy's first female astronaut heads to ISS in Russian craft
Moscow (AFP) Nov 23, 2014
A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying Italy's first female astronaut safely blasted off Sunday to begin its journey to the International Space Station. Samantha Cristoforetti was joined by Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and American astronaut Terry Virts as the Soyuz TMA-15M spacecraft took off from Russia's Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2101 GMT, the Russian space agency Roscosmos ... read more


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