Friday, December 17, 2010

MagISStra Soyuz craft docking at ISS

Soyuz docking monitor and control view.

The Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft docked this evening with the International Space Station carrying ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli and his crewmates Dmitri Kondratyev and Catherine Coleman. They will stay in orbit now for six months and return to Earth next May.

ESA’s third long-duration mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) began last Wednesday, 15 December, when the Soyuz spacecraft was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

After circling the globe some 35 times in the last two days, the spacecraft docked at 21:12 CET (20:12 GMT) this evening.

During this third flight day, the crew prepared their vessel for arrival, closed the hatch between its two modules, donned their Sokol pressure suits and carefully monitored the approach and docking sequence.

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