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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Soyuz Launches Crew to ISS 


Image Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

A Soyuz spacecraft was launched today from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying three more crew members to the International Space Station (ISS). The ISS will be back to a full crew of six which will carry out new activities including commercial cargo delivery demonstrations in the new year.

The launch occurred on the 43rd anniversary of the launch of Apollo 8. While now often thought of a mainly a precursor to the Apollo 11 landing the following summer, Apollo 8 was an epic voyage in itself as it was the first time humans had left the immediate vicinity of Earth to approach and orbit the Moon for the first time. This first visit to the Moon at Christmas time 1968 was a particularly memorable event.

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