Russian Soyuz spacecraft docks with ISS

April 10th, 2008 - 11:20 pm ICT by admin  

RIA Novosti
Moscow, April 10 (RIA Novosti) The Russian Soyuz-FG carrier spacecraft carrying two Russian crewmembers and the first South Korean astronaut has successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS), Russia’s Mission Control said Thursday. The Soyuz TMA-12 vehicle carried commander Sergei Volkov and flight engineer Oleg Kononenko, both from Russia, along with South Korea’s Yi So-yeon, a spaceflight participant to the ISS on the 17th expedition.

The Russian cosmonauts will spend six months on board the orbital station, while Yi So-yeon, a biotechnology engineer, will be in orbit for only ten days.

During their stay on the ISS, the new team of crew will monitor docking with several space shuttles and cargo craft, move the Soyuz TMA-12 from the Zarya module to the Zvezda module on the Russian segment of the orbital station, and conduct at least one spacewalk.

Their scientific research programme comprises over 45 experiments, including studies into the growth of proteins and polymers, forecasting earthquakes, and the influence of space on various life forms, including humans.

A $25-million contract for a Korean astronaut to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) was signed between Russia and South Korea in December 2006. The original candidate, Ko San, was withdrawn after Russia accused him of taking sensitive documents from a training facility.

Yi So-yeon, 29, who is the 155th person to visit the ISS, will conduct 18 research and educational experiments.

“Over eight kilograms of payload will be delivered to Earth after the experiments,” Vitaly Lopota, president of Russia’s Space and Rocket Corporation Energia, said.

Last week, the first European space freighter, Jules Verne, delivered over 7.5 tonnes of supplies to support the operation of the orbital station for another six months.

Members of the current 16th expedition, commander Peggy Whitson and flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko, will return to the Earth with So-yeon Yi in the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft April 19, while flight engineer Garrett Reisman will join Expedition 17.
RIA Novosti

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