Archive for Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Soyuz capsule docks at space station

April 10, 2007

Advertisement

People watch A TV screen at Mission Control in Korolyov, Russia, showing the crew aboard the international space station. In back row, from left, are Miguel Lopez-Alegria, Mikhail Tyurin and Sunita Williams, and in front row, from left, are Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov of Russia and American software billionaire Charles Simonyi.

People watch A TV screen at Mission Control in Korolyov, Russia, showing the crew aboard the international space station. In back row, from left, are Miguel Lopez-Alegria, Mikhail Tyurin and Sunita Williams, and in front row, from left, are Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov of Russia and American software billionaire Charles Simonyi.

U.S. lifestyle guru Martha Stewart speaks during the video linkup with the International Space Station after the docking of Soyuz TMA10  space capsule in the Russian Mission Control at Korolyov, Russia. A Soyuz space capsule carrying two Russians, an American and an out-of-this-world dinner successfully docked with the international space station early today, about 50 hours after it took off from Russia's manned launch facility at Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

U.S. lifestyle guru Martha Stewart speaks during the video linkup with the International Space Station after the docking of Soyuz TMA10 space capsule in the Russian Mission Control at Korolyov, Russia. A Soyuz space capsule carrying two Russians, an American and an out-of-this-world dinner successfully docked with the international space station early today, about 50 hours after it took off from Russia's manned launch facility at Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

— Two Russian cosmonauts and a U.S. billionaire bringing a gourmet meal arrived at the international space station early today - to a warm welcome from current crewmen and the earthbound applause of Martha Stewart.

The lifestyle guru was among Russian and American officials and visitors monitoring the docking at Russian Mission Control, on Moscow's outskirts, as onboard TV cameras showed the Soyuz nearing the station and then jerking to a stop. Stewart is a friend of Charles Simonyi, the American who shelled out at least $20 million to be the world's fifth paying private space traveler.

The Soyuz capsule docked automatically with the ISS and Simonyi and two Russian cosmonauts floated into the space station about 90 minutes later.

A video linkup at Russian Mission Control in Korolyov, on Moscow's outskirts, showed the three smiling and getting hugs and backslaps from the three-member crew already on the station.

"How did the launch look?" Simonyi asked spectators at Mission Control.

"The launch was beautiful, Charles," Stewart told Simonyi. "I just want to say that we are happy for the safe and beautiful trip and I want you to know that we all think that you are a true pioneer.

"And guess what, Charles? You are now truly out of this world," she said.

"Martha, it is really an honor to be here on this outpost," Simonyi said.

The Hungarian-born Simonyi then turned upside down - to the amusement of spectators - and shared greetings in Hungarian with his brother, Tomas.

The arrival of a new crew is always a happy event, and this time the residents are getting an extra treat - the gourmet dinner brought by Simonyi.

The menu, including quail marinated in wine, was selected by Stewart, who was also on hand at Baikonur for the rocket's launch Saturday.

Simonyi returns to Earth on April 20, along with Russian Mikhail Tyurin and the American astronaut Miguel Lopez-Alegria, who have been on the station since September. The other U.S. astronaut, Sunita Williams, will remain on board with cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov.

The dinner is to be eaten on Thursday, which Russia marks as Cosmonauts' Day, the anniversary of Yuri Gagarin making the first manned space flight in 1961.

Simonyi, 58, lives in the United States where he amassed a fortune through his work with computer software, including helping to develop Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.

Simonyi was bringing with him a sample of the paper computer tapes that he used decades ago when he first learned programming on a bulky Soviet machine called Ural-2.

While at the space station, Simonyi will be conducting a number of experiments, including measuring radiation levels and studying biological organisms inside the lab.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.