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The Great Outer Space: Astronaut Joe Acaba

Bye-Bye From Baikonur, Leaving on a Rocket

11 May 2012, 21:56 UTC
Bye-Bye From Baikonur, Leaving on a Rocket
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At the historic museum near the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 31/32 Flight Engineer Joe Acaba of NASA adds his name to the “Wall of Signatures.” Photo credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov The initial goal of approximately 2.5 years of training is finally coming to fruition. I am currently in Baikonur, Kazakhstan performing final preparations for my May 15 Soyuz launch to the International Space Station (ISS) where I will be spending 4 months living and working in space. My crew mates are cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, a veteran space flyer dating back to the Mir Space Station and Sergey Revin, a rookie. I am lucky to serve with these gentlemen, not only as colleagues but as friends. When we arrive, we will be greeted by American Astronaut Don Pettit, Dutch Astronaut Andre Kuipers and Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko (ISS Expedition 31). Once they depart in early July, we will be joined by Astronaut Suni Williams, Japanese Astronaut Aki Hoshide and Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (ISS Expedition 32).Due to the facts that I will be launching on a Russian vehicle and the true international nature of the Space Station, my training has taken me to Russia, Canada, Japan and ...

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