Soyuz Blasts Off From Kazakhstan Today
A Russian Soyuz craft began a historic mission today to double the size of the crew on the International Space Station. Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, and Belgium’s Frank De Winne will join the three crew members already on board the ISS, increasing the total to six permanent members. If all goes well, the Soyuz should dock with the ISS on Friday.
The addition of the three crew members will enable the scientific output of the ISS to increase significantly with estimates suggesting that hours spent on research should increase from 20 to more than 70 per week. Previously, crew members spent most of their time maintaining the ISS. The expansion of the crew was not possible without the recently added and fixed recycling system for water. See our prior post for information regarding the recycling system here. For more information about the Soyuz mission, see here.