Endeavour Shuttle With Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov Aboard Set

Off For International Space Station From Cosmodrome On Cape Canaveral At 22.41 Moscow time on April 19 the American shuttle Endeavour with seven cosmonauts on board started to the International Space Station /ISS/ from the cosmodrome on Cape Canaveral (Florida state, USA). RIA Novosti was told this at the Russian Mission Control Centre (TsUP) in Korolev near Moscow. The shuttle's crew includes a Russian cosmonaut - 36-year-old Lieutenant-Colonel of the Air Force Yuri Lonchakov who is making his first space flight. Besides him, American astronauts Jeffrey Ashby, John Phillips, Scott Parazynski and Kent Rominger, astronaut of the Canadian Space Agency Chris Hadfield and astronaut of the European Space Agency Umberto Guidoni from Italy are on board the shuttle. The expedition is headed by US astronaut Kent Rominger who is flying in space for the fifth time. The purpose of the expedition is to bring to the ISS a 18-metre construction "arm-manipulator" of Canadian make for doing assembly work and carrying cargos in open space during the construction of the station, and the new Italian freight module Rafaello with cargos for additionally equipping the station. The shuttle will also bring foodstuffs, air and water to the ISS for the second permanent expedition of cosmonauts which has been working on this station since last March. According to the data of the TsUP specialists, after the shuttle's docking with the ISS which is scheduled for April 21, on April 22 and 24 two astronauts of the shuttle will walk into open space onto the surface of the station to fasten the construction "arm-manipulator" and the Rafaello freight module on it. After the unloading of the brought cargos and the loading onto the shuttle the equipment whose service life is over and the results of the work of the second permanent expedition of cosmonauts on the station, the crew of the Endeavour shuttle will undock from the ISS on April 28 and land on the American cosmodrome on Cape Canaveral on April 30. "The whole expedition of the Endeavour shuttle to the ISS is to last eleven days", the TsUP officials noted.

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