Shuttle and Soyuz Each Getting Ready for Launch

Shuttle and Soyuz Each Getting Ready for Launch

The next five days will witness the launch of both a Soyuz and a Space Shuttle to visit the International Space Station (ISS).

Soyuz TMA-18 is scheduled for launch on Friday, April 2, at 12:04 am EDT. It will take three new crew members to the ISS: Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko, and American Tracy Caldwell Dyson. They will join the three ISS crew members already there: Russa’s Oleg Kotov, America’s T.J. Creamer, and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi. Soyuz is expected to dock with the ISS on April 4, the day before the Space Shuttle Discovery lifts off for its own visit to the ISS.

Discovery is set to launch at 6:31 am EDT on Monday, April 5. Its STS-131 mission is to deliver new science racks and ammonia tanks. The STS-131 crew is composed of six Americans and one Japanese: Alan Poindexter, Jim Dutton, Rick Mastracchio, Clay Anderson, Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger, Stephanie Wilson, and Naoko Yamazaki.

A total of 13 people will be aboard the ISS for the two-weeks the shuttle is docked. NASA points out that it will be the first time two Japanese have worked together in orbit (Noguchi and Yakazaki), and the first time four women will be aboard the ISS at the same time (Caldwell Dyson, Metcalf-Lindenburger, Wilson and Yamazaki).

To keep up on ISS comings and goings, check out NASA’s ISS website.

User Comments has the right (but not the obligation) to monitor the comments and to remove any materials it deems inappropriate.  We do not post comments that include links to other websites since we have no control over that content nor can we verify the security of such links.