Tuesday, June 7, 2011

An international crew to the International Space Station

        It is a space mission which lifted off from the Baikonor cosmodrome early on Wednesday (IST) having as its motto--- let bygones be bygones.

        A Russian, a Japanese and an American boarded a hi tech TMA-02M Soyuz spacecraft and blasted off to the International Space Station (ISS) where they will spend about five months joining three others.

       Those who flew on Wednesday are Sergey Volkov who is making his second visit to space, Nasa astronaut, Mike Fossum who is flying to space for the third time and the Japanese, Satoshi Furukawa, for whom it is the first.

       Why bygones be bygones?

       In his blog Fossum says: ``Who could have imagined back then the launch to begin Russia's second half century of human spaceflight would include an American air force colonel, a Russian and a Japanese doctor-cum-astronaut. The history of our three countries includes periods of intense conflict and horrific strife, yet here we are---American, Russian and Japanese crew mates fused together as a crew.............''

      The three crew members represent nations which at one time faught with each other, but now united in their aim to explore space. Their motto apparently is: let bygones be bygones.They are carrying about 40 experiments to the space station which includes growing food in space.

      It is the 110th flight of the Soyuz spacecraft since the first one was launched in 1967. It is the second mission using the upgraded Soyuz TMA spacecraft which has a modernised flight control system and reduced mass. Obselete pieces have been replaced with 19 new generation devices and the spacecraft's total mass has been reduced by 70 kgs.

       The Soyuz will become the main manned space transportation system to the ISS  with the phasing out of the space shuttle from next month.

     Soon after the night lift off it took eight minutes to reach the orbit around the earth and will dock with the ISS on Thursday. Interestingly, this will be the last crew to receive the space shuttle ``Atlantis,'' at the space station on July 10 on its final mission which will conclude the story of the space shuttle. Fossum called the shuttle a truck while he described the Soyuz as a ship for people.

      Volkov in a pre launch interview at Baikonor said that the Soyuz `` is like a home. It is made for you. You will love this spaceship.''

      BMM watched the Soyuz launch on Russia TV and sure it was an awesome and terrific sight. A mighty rocket with the three spacemen blasted off with a thunder into the night sky over Baikonor and almost lit it up. BMM has downloaded the video. It has two other videos----one showing the rocket being brought to the launch pad--the Gagarin launch pad--and the other one which describes the life of the three cosmonauts at Baikonor before launch. 

      Fantastic footages and spacebuffs like BMM can watch them again and again.



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