100th Launch to the International Space Station

The Soyuz TMA-19 vehicle blasted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan today to bring three new crew members to the International Space Station. This was the 100th launch of missions in support of space station assembly, resupply and crew exchanges. The rocket lit up the early morning sky in Kazakhstan at 3:35 a.m. Wednesday local time, (5:35:19 p.m. EDT and 9:35 pm GMT on Tuesday). The Soyuz took eight and a half minutes to reach orbit, but it will take about 2 days to catch up to the ISS.

On board are Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and NASA astronauts Douglas Wheelock and Shannon Walker will join Expedition 24 commander Alexander Skvortsov, Mikhail Kornienko and Tracy Caldwell Dyson, who launched to the station on another Soyuz on April 2. This will be the first time a long-duration station crew has included two women.

Walker has a blog at the Houston Chronicle, that she hopefully will be able to update frequently from space. She is married to fellow astronaut Andy Thomas. Walker is serving as the flight engineer on the Soyuz flight, one of the few NASA astronauts who have trained to be a co-pilot for the Soyuz.

Of interest today, space journalist Jim Oberg has a new article on MSNBC, “How Risky is it to Rely on Russian Spaceflight.”

8 Replies to “100th Launch to the International Space Station”

  1. Thanks Korolyov and Glushko, great rocket. It’s even more fun when you see what’s going on in the cockpit right after the launch.

  2. Man this is my first time seeing Soyuz capsule interior during launch. They are using sticks to push buttons! From what I can see, the room in front of the crew is about 3 feet and snug fit side to side. Oh man, is it going to take 2 days to reach Space Station? 2 days in fetal position! I think I can go No 2, but No 1, with women crew sitting right next to you?! You can hardly open up your legs. Well Ok, they are going in there diapers. But man, even a babies diaper will explode if you don’t change it for 2 days!

  3. @ Emillio

    It’s not THAT cramped and inconvenient. The crew can unbckle themselves to stretch in the capsuel if they want. Above the capsuel is the spheroid “orbital moduel” which gives more room to stand, sit, and sleep. It also contains a toilet and a forward facing window to view the Earth and Station.

  4. I’m fairly sure I saw re-entry of part of this vehicle this evening – it was spectacular.

  5. 2010 and our spaceships still all look like tin cans held together with Gaffer tape. All my boyish childhood dreams are so crushed.

    There just has to be classier way to get up there.

    Congrats to the Soyuz program however, 100 flights is pretty amazing.


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