Canadian veteran astronaut Bob Thirsk and his two fellow crew-members rocketed into Earth orbit successfully this morning aboard the Soyuz spacecraft. Thirsk is the first Canadian to spend 6 months in space and will be part of the first 6 man crew on the International Space Station when he arrives to dock with the lab on Friday morning. He is going to have a packed schedule while onboard, acting as chief medical officer, being in charge of robotic operations of Canadarm2, and will be responsible for the Japanese science module Kibo.
During this mission, the crew of Expedition 20/21 will devote hours to scientific research making full use of the station’s state-of-the-art laboratory facilities. Thirsk will conduct Canadian-led experiments that could lead to results for people who experience balance and movement control disorders, elderly people suffering from dizziness and fainting spells, or those afflicted with heart disease caused by a sedentary lifestyle.
“This is an incredible milestone for the Canadian Space Program,” said Steve MacLean, President of the CSA and a former Canadian astronaut. “Canada has a very strong track record when it comes to space science and space technology. The science performed will benefit all Canadians.”
For the latest information on Thirsk’s mission check out the Canadian Space Agency’s cool webpage filled with pix and videos.
Here is a short media report on the launch this morning…
Tags: Canadian Space Agency, Robert Thirsk, Soyuz, space station
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