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Soyuz launches with space tourist Shuttleworth
Posted: Thu, Apr 25, 2002, 8:02 AM ET (1202 GMT)
Soyuz launch (Energia file photo) A Soyuz rocket carrying three people, including space tourist Mark Shuttleworth, lifted off early Thursday on a flight to the International Space Station. The Soyuz rocket lifted off from Baikonur at 2:26 am EDT (0626 GMT) and placed the Soyuz TM-34 spacecraft into orbit nine minutes later. On board the Soyuz are mission commander Yuri Gizdenko, ESA astronaut Roberto Vittori, and Shuttleworth, the second commercial space tourist. The launch took place nearly a year to the day after another Soyuz launched the first commercial space tourist, American businessman Dennis Tito. The spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station Saturday at 3:57 am EDT (0757 GMT). The taxi crew will remain on the station for a week before departing in the Soyuz TM-33 spacecraft current docked to ISS, leaving the newer Soyuz to remain at the station as a lifeboat for the Expedition Four crew.
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