Thursday, May 28, 2009

TMA-15 boosts ISS crew

It's a busy time in space at the moment. No sooner have the Hubble upgrade crew returned to earth than the Soyuz TMA-15 mission blasted off yesterday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in glorious Kazakhstan. It was the 102nd manned flight for the Soyuz.

The crew consist of Roman Romanenko (whose father flew on Soyuz 25 which visited the Salyut space station ) from Russia, Frank De Winne from Belgium and Robert Thirsk from Canada. Thirsk is the first Canadian to fly on a Soyuz as opposed to a Shuttle. With the three crew on board the ISS already this will bring its complement up to six for the first time. They will join Gennady Padalka (Russia), Michael Barratt (USA) and spacetourist Charles Simonyi on his second paid for flight.