October 12, 2008

Soyuz Tma Crewmembers Feel Well

BAIKONUR. Oct 12 (Interfax-AVN) - The Soyuz-FG launch vehicle took off without a hitch, the Russian spacecraft Soyuz TMA-13 was placed in orbit, all its systems are functioning properly and crewmembers feel well, the state commission at Baikonur space center announced on Sunday.

Flight control in Korolyov outside Moscow assumed control over the spacecraft.

"I thank everyone for the good work relating to the takeoff and request you to prepare for the docking of the spacecraft with the [International Space] station," head of the Russian Federal Space Agency Anatoly Perminov said.

Federation Council speaker Sergei Mironov who witnessed the takeoff and attended the state commission meeting congratulated everyone involved on the successful takeoff. "We have shown once again that Russia is a great space power," he said.

Mironov said the Russian leadership realizes the importance of the space program and will support its development in every possible way.

The crew of Soyuz TMA-13 comprises Russian cosmonaut Yury Lonchakov, NASA astronaut Michael Fincke and space flight participant Richard Garriott.

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