Three days after three space fliers wrapped up their 139-day space mission, another trio launched Sunday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome to continue a rapid-fire crew rotation and bring the International Space Station back to a full complement of six residents. Russian commander Anton Shkaplerov, NASA flight engineer Scott Tingle and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai lifted off at 0721 GMT (2:21 a.m. EST) Sunday.
The launch of a Soyuz rocket with a Progress refueling and resupply freighter was aborted seconds before liftoff Thursday in a rare scrub for Russia’s workhorse rocket, delaying the start of a journey to the International Space Station until at least Saturday and thwarting plans to test out a new automated fast-track rendezvous sequence.
A Russian Proton rocket lifted off Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with the AsiaSat 9 satellite destined to provide television broadcast, video networking and data delivery services over the Asia-Pacific region. Launch occurred at 1852:16 GMT (2:52:16 p.m. EDT), beginning a series of maneuvers expected to last nine hours before AsiaSat 9 is deployed from the rocket.