U.S., Russian, Italian Astronauts Head For ISS

By Mark Carreau

HOUSTON — A Russian Soyuz spacecraft lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Dec. 15, initiating a five-month expedition to the International Space Station that will feature a flurry of multinational cargo mission activities intended to prepare the orbiting lab for the approaching retirement of NASA’s space shuttle fleet.

The Soyuz TMA-20 crew — Dmitri Kondratyev, a 41-year ...

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