The Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit:NASA/Carla CioffiThree new Expedition 28 flight engineers -- NASA astronaut Mike Fossum, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Satoshi Furukawa -- launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft at 4:12 p.m. EDT on June 7 (2:12 a.m. June 8, Baikonur time) to begin a two-day journey to the International Space Station.
Soyuz Commander Sergei Volkov (lower left) and Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa write notations in their manuals as the Soyuz TMA-02M climbs to orbit. Credit: NASA TVThe station residents also will welcome the crew of the last space shuttle flight, Atlantis' STS-135 mission, targeted to launch July 8. The shuttle will deliver critical supplies in the Italian-built Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module and support spacewalks by Fossum and Garan to retrieve a failed cooling system pump module, which Atlantis will return to Earth for analysis.