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Expedition 32 Crew Launches to Station
201207150014hq -- Expedition 32 launches

The Soyuz TMA-05M rocket launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying Expedition 32 crew members Yuri Malenchenko, Sunita Williams and Akihiko Hoshide to the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

Expedition 32 Flight Engineers Suni Williams, Yuri Malenchenko and Aki Hoshide launched aboard the Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft at 10:40 p.m. EDT Saturday, July 14 (8:40 a.m. Kazakhstan time on Sunday) from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan.

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They are on their way to the International Space Station to join Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin. The new trio will dock to the Rassvet module Tuesday, July 17 at 12:52 a.m.

The launch and docking of Expedition 32 coincides with the 37th anniversary of the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project, the first docking of an American spacecraft with a Russian spacecraft. An Apollo spacecraft from Kennedy Space Center and a Soyuz 7K-TM vehicle from Baikonur Cosmodrome launched on July 15, 1975, then docked two days later.

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American astronauts Commander Thomas Stafford, Command Module Pilot Vance Brand and Docking Module Pilot Donald Slayton were aboard the Apollo spacecraft. Russian cosmonauts Commander Alexei Leonov and Flight Engineer Valeri Kubasov were aboard the Soyuz 7K-TM. Stafford and Leonov shook hands after the hatches opened, the first time international crew members greeted each other in space.

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