Chris Cassidy of NASA, along with Pavel Vinogradov and Alexander Misurkin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), are scheduled to launch in their Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:43 p.m. EDT, March 28.
Cassidy, Vinogradov and Misurkin will become the first station crewmembers to make an expedited trip to the orbiting laboratory. Instead of taking the standard two days to rendezvous and dock with the station, they will need only four orbits of Earth to reach the station. This flight will employ rendezvous techniques used recently with three unmanned Russian Progress cargo spacecraft.
The crew will dock with the station's Poisk module at 10:32 p.m. Hatches are scheduled to open between the Soyuz and station at 12:10 a.m.
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