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Soyuz launches on ISS taxi mission
Posted: Sun, Oct 21, 2001, 11:14 AM ET (1514 GMT)
Soyuz launch (Energia file photo) A Soyuz spacecraft carrying two Russian cosmonauts and one French astronaut lifted off Sunday morning on a taxi mission to the International Space Station. The Soyuz TM-33 spacecraft lifted off from Baikonur at 4:59 am EDT (0859 GMT) and safely entered orbit as planned. The spacecraft is scheduled to dock with ISS on Tuesday at 6:45 am EDT (1045 GMT). The TM-33 crew of Russians Victor Afanasyev and Konstantin Kozeev as well as ESA astronaut Claudie Haignere will spend a week on the station before returning to Earth in the Soyuz TM-32 spacecraft that has been docked to the station for the last six months. Such taxi flights are required twice a year to swap out the Soyuz spacecraft that serve as the station's lifeboat, as the Soyuz capsules are rated for only 180 days in space.
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