BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan, December 21 (Itar-Tass) —— The digital spaceship Soyuz TMA-03M, which blasted off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, at 17:15 Moscow time on Wednesday, December 21, has reached the designated orbit.
“The spaceship Soyuz TMA-03M that lifted off at 17:16 Moscow time reached the designated orbit in 9 minutes and began an autonomous flight to the ISS. All of the ship’s systems are operating normally, the crew is feeling well,” a Baikonur official told Itar-Tass.
The ship is carrying an international crew of this year’s last long-term expedition to the International Space Station, which will work in orbit for about five months.
The crew consists of Oleg Kononenko of Russia, Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency and Donald Pettit of NASA. They will join Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanshin of Russia and U.S. astronaut Daniel Burbank, who have been working aboard the ISS since November.
“All three are feeling well,” the Baikonur official said.