Soyuz TMA-21 Gagarin launch

Soyuz TMA-21 Gagarin launch
3 astronauts headed off to the International Space Station so as to complete Expedition 27 during the night of 4 to 5 April. They blasted off from Baikonur aboard the Soyuz TMA-21 spaceship dubbed Gagarin in tribute to the flight of the first man in space almost 50 years ago.

The crew of Soyuz TMA-21 Gagarin which blasted off on 5 April from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (from left to right): Ronald Garan, Alexander Samokutyaev and Andrei Borisenko. Behind them is their spaceship with a portrait of Yuri Gagarin.
Credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

Roscosmos, the Russian Space Agency, launched the Soyuz TMA-21 Gargarin spaceship to the International Space Station on 5 April at 04:18 local Baikonur time. The crew comprises 3 astronauts: Russians Andrei Borisenko and Alexander Samokutyaev, and American Ron Garan. They are to complete the ISS’ Expedition 27. Docking with the Station is scheduled in two days time on 7 April at 23:20 Universal Time.
The windows below will retransmit the recording in 2 parts of the live EnjoySpaceTV programme on request.

Expedition 27 on NASA’s website

The Soyuz TMA-21 is officially named Gagarin because of the fiftieth anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic flight (see this feature). The Cité de l’Espace is also putting on a special anniversary programme on 12 April 2011 with conferences and events, all in the presence of two astronauts, Russian Maxim Suraev and the European Space Agency’s Frenchman, Thomas Pesquet. Click on the image below to see the full programme.

Published on 4 April 2011 – updated on 5 April