May 26, 2009
More than a decade after construction began, the International Space Station is about to get its first full-size crew.
A Soyuz spacecraft is scheduled to lift off from Kazakhstan tomorrow with three people onboard—Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, European astronaut Frank De Winne, and Canadian astronaut Robert Thirsk. They’ll join Russia’s Gennady Padalka, Japan’s Koichi Wakata, and NASA’s Michael Barratt onboard the station, bringing the census to six for the first time.
When Padalka leaves in October, De Winne, a former fighter pilot with the Belgian air force, will become the station’s first European commander. He’s already taking questions from the public about his mission.
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