Cosmonautics Day

20140412_ISS-Western Cape-13h01m_SAST

International Day of Human Space Flight.

The International Space Station passed over the cloudless Western Cape, South Africa at 13:00 SAST.

Experience the live views from the ISS at USTREAM


International Day of Human Space Flight, Cosmonautics Day in Russia.

MOSCOW, April 12 (RIA Novosti) – Russia celebrates Cosmonautics Day every April 12. This holiday was instituted by the April 9, 1962 executive order of the Presidium of the USSR Supreme Soviet (Parliament) in honor of the first manned space flight.On April 12, 1961, a launch vehicle orbited the Vostok spacecraft with the first cosmonaut, Soviet citizen Yuri Gagarin, on board..                    Great article by  RIA Novosti

No politics in space:

U.S. astronaut Michael Hopkins, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy pose for a picture at the Baikonur cosmodromeThe International Space Station is an example of what Russia and the US can accomplish by working together, US astronaut Michael Hopkins told RT, adding that the cooling relations between Moscow and Washington over Ukraine isn’t felt in space at all.

Hopkins, who was part of the ISS crew together with Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazansky from September 2013 until March 2014, has described his space trip as “absolutely amazing. More than I could’ve hoped for.”

The astronaut said he had great working and personal relations with Kotov and Ryazansky, adding that he feels “very fortunate to be able to call them crewmates as well as very good friends.”

Sharing such an experience as a spaceflight – from launch to landing – is very unifying, Hopkins stressed as he arrived in Star City, near Moscow, for his crew’s official welcoming ceremony.

“You’re very close together in the Soyuz [Russian spacecraft],” he said. “And then just the time – the daily time that you spend there – it’s an experience that you always have. And I’ll always look back at that memory of not just my time up there, but my time with them. And that’s something very special and again – I consider them very close friends now.”

According to the 45-year-old, the tensions between Russia and the US over the events in Ukraine “had no impact” on relations with his Russian crew members.
“I think, actually, the International Space Station is still an example of what our nations can accomplish when they work together,” he said.

Continue reading at RT website:  credit:

soyuz12TM-issLatest crew arrived to the International Space Station

Soyuz Commander Alexander Skvortsov, Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev and NASA’s Steven Swanson – riding in the Soyuz TMA-12M – have finally docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday, March 27. After what was a delayed arrival – caused by a problem with a key burn during what was supposed to be a six hour trip to the Station – the trio docked with MRM-2 at 7:53pm Eastern Time. Following a nominal launch via the Soyuz FG carrier rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:17 pm EDT (9:17 pm UTC), the Soyuz TMA-12M was set to result in a six hour trip to the Station. However, a problem with a key burn delayed rendezvous by two days. As with a number of previous Soyuz and Progress launches, Soyuz TMA-12M was attempting to use the short cut route to the ISS, avoiding the two day journey of the past. First carried out for a crewed mission by Soyuz TMA-08M, the well practised procedure was initially demonstrated on recent Progress resupply missions..

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