October 26, 2021

Crew On Space Station Doubles With Recent Arrivals

nasa

A space shuttle successfully reached the International Space Station on Friday carrying three astronauts

Things got a little cozier on the International Space Station on Friday with the arrival of three more astronauts bringing the total on the ISS to six. The Soyuz TMA-20 space shuttle was responsible for shuttling the American, Russian and Italian astronauts to the Station.

The Soyuz fired off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on the Kazakh steppe two days prior to it docking with the ISS. About two hours prior to docking, Russian space control alerted that it had lost contact with the space craft. Fortunately it docked successfully and information flow picked up again.

The crew will stay on the ISS until some time in May 2011. They are joining the three astronauts who have been on the Space Station since October 9. They will be leaving in March.

Only a few space shuttle missions remain before NASA retires the fleet for good. This will leave Russian spacecrafts and commercial crafts as the only options for astronauts to make it to the International Space Station.

NASA has been trying to get Discovery, one of the shuttles in it’s retiring fleet, to the ISS since early last month. A number of factors have pushed launch until February 2011 at the earliest including electrical problems, uncooperative weather, and cracks in fuel tanks.