Gov’t Shutdown Doesn’t Stop Space History …

Someone will need to explain to me why NASA’s websites have to be shut down — did they shut down the power to the server rooms? — but the fact is that the National Space Science Data Center site came up empty today. But this space history item will not be denied!

Five years ago today — October 12, 2008 — a Soyuz-FG rocket launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying mission Soyuz TMA-13 to the International Space Station. Its crew consisted of U.S. astronaut Michael Fincke, U.S. space tourist Richard A. Garriott, and Russian cosmonaut Yuri V. Lonchakov.

(The Soyuz rocket carrying TMA-13 being erected on the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad. Image from Wikimedia Commons.)

The Soyuz docked with the Zarya module two days after launch. Garriott spent nine days aboard the ISS and returned to Earth aboard Soyuz TMA-12, along with cosmonauts and ISS residents Sergei Volkov and Oleg Kononenko, while the other two TMA-13 passengers stayed aboard the ISS.

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