ISS Replacement Crew Launches

Three new crewmembers for the International Space Station launched today on board a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Timothy J. Creamer, Oleg Kotov and Soichi Noguchi will join Jeff Williams and Maxim Suraev, the two crew already on board the station, who watched an uploaded video of the launch.

Soyuz launch carrying the ISS crew

The three new crew will remain on the station until May and will play host to two Space Shuttle missions, one of them bringing a brand new module, Node 3, or Tranquility, a large connecting node which will come complete with a 7 window Cupola promising to give the crew on board incredible new panoramic views of the Earth and space.

When the new crew arrives on Tuesday they will complete the Expedition 22 roster, one of several interim 5 person crews that will occupy the station until the Soyuz launches sync up after the end of Shuttle crew transportation, which historically rotated a sixth crew member. When Williams and Suraev depart the station in March, Kotov will take over as commander and the crew will officially become Expedition 23.

Watch out for the docking on Tuesday, scheduled for 5:58pm EDT.

Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
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