Friday, December 18, 2009


Early Friday morning at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft left its processing facility on a rail car then was vertically set up at its launch pad. On Sunday at 4:52 p.m. EST, three new crew members will launch aboard the TMA-17 to join the Expedition 22 crew after docking to the International Space Station. They dock to the International Space Station Tuesday.

Watch NASA TV for coverage of the launch, which begins Sunday at 4 p.m.

NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi will expand Expedition 22 to five crew members. Residing onboard the station since Oct. 2 are Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Maxim Suraev.