Three Radio Amateurs to launch to ISS

NASA astronaut Don Pettit KD5MDT

NASA astronaut Don Pettit KD5MDT

On Wednesday, December 21, three radio amateurs will fly to the International Space Station (ISS) for a 6 month stay.

NASA astronaut Don Pettit KD5MDT, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko RN3DX and Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers, PI9ISS continue preparations for their planned Soyuz launch to the ISS on on December 21 at 0816 EST (1316 GMT).

The SpaceFlightNow web site posted a photo album of the ISS Expedition 30 crew this week during inspections and fit checks in the seats: http://spaceflightnow.com/station/exp30/111209fitcheck/

The European Space Agency has released a video of Andre Kuipers’ mission which can be viewed at:
http://spaceflightnow.com/station/exp30/kuipers.html

The Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft will be encapsulated in the aerodynamic shroud and then mated to its rocket booster next week in preparation for rollout to the launch pad on December 19. After launch the Soyuz will fly a two-day trek to rendezvous with the station for a planned automated docking December 23 at 1020 EST (1520 GMT).

These three hams are headed for a half-year mission aboard the ISS as members of Expeditions 30 and 31.

Source ANS

Watch the launch and docking live on NASA TV
http://www.southgatearc.org/news/december2011/nasa_tv_to_cover_launch_of_ham_radio_trio.htm