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Expedition 23 Crew Launches From Kazakhstan
Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft launch

The Soyuz TMA-18 launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Photo credit: NASA TV
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NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko, all flight engineers, launched in their Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, April 2 at 12:04 a.m. EDT to begin a two-day journey to the International Space Station.

Less than 10 minutes after launch, their spacecraft reached orbit and its antennas and solar arrays were deployed.

Russian cosmonaut and Expedition 23 Commander Oleg Kotov, NASA astronaut T.J. Creamer and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, both flight engineers, are currently the sole residents on the station, having arrived Dec. 22 aboard their Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft.

Caldwell Dyson, Skvortsov and Kornienko will complete the Expedition 23 crew when they dock to the station on April 4.