Soyuz TMA-11M Crew Launches to ISS with Olympic Torch – UPDATE

Soyuz TMA-11M Crew Launches to ISS with Olympic Torch – UPDATE

UPDATE, November 7, 2013:   The Soyuz TMA-11M crew docked at 5:27 am Eastern Standard Time.

ORIGINAL STORY, November 6, 2013: Soyuz TMA-11M launched on time at 11:14 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) tonight, November 6 (10:14 am November 7 local time at the launch site in Kazakhstan).   The crew is taking the expedited route to the International Space Station (ISS) with docking in just about six hours.

The three crew members are NASA’s Rick Mastracchio, Japan’s Koichi Wakata, and Russia’s Mikhail Tyurin.  Wakata will become the first Japanese astronaut to command the ISS later in his mission.

These three crew members will join six crew already aboard the ISS: the Soyuz TMA-09M crew (Karen Nyberg, Luca Parmitano and Fyodor Yurchikhin) and the Soyuz TMA-10M crew (Oleg Kotov, Michael Hopkins, and Sergey Ryazanskiy).  

The Olympic torch that is on its way to the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia is aboard Soyuz TMA-11M.   Kotov and Ryazanskiy will make a spacewalk with the torch on Saturday, and it then will be returned to Earth on Sunday by the Soyuz TMA-09M crew.

Docking is scheduled for 5:31 am EST tomorrow morning (November 7).


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