U.S., Canadian, Russia Crew Lifts Off for ISS


Soyuz boosts U.S., Canadian and Russian crew to ISS.  Photo Credit/NASA TV

A Soyuz rocket roared into orbit from the Baikonur Cosmodrome early Wednesday, initiating a two day trip to the  International Space Station with a three-man crew that included the first Canadian trained to command the orbiting science lab.

The TMA-07M capsule carrying cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn and 
Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield was on course to dock with the ISS on Dec. 21 at 9:12 a.m., EST.

Soyuz commander Roman Romanenko, foreground, and Chris Hadfield, serving as Soyuz co-pilot, during Wednesday's lift off. Tom Marshburn is out of view.
Photo Credit/NASA TV

The three men donned heavy coats over their space suits as they were driven to the launch pad for their lift off at 7:12 a.m., EST, or 6:12 p.m. local time. The wind chill at the 
Central Asian launch complex was reported at minus 30 degrees F, below zero.
The spacecraft settled into the intended preliminary orbit and deployed solar arrays and communications antennas on schedule.

"Everything is going well on board," the crew reported.

Hadfield has trained to assume command of the station in mid-March for the opening of Expedition 35 and the final weeks of his five month mission.

Romanenko, Marshburn and Hadfield will be greeted as they dock by American Kevin Ford, the station's Expedition 34 commander, and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Evengy Tarelkin.

The arrival will restore station to six person operations for the first time since Nov. 19.

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