Soyuz TMA-13 set to launch trio to ISS

A Russian spacecraft with two Americans and a Russian on board blasted off today at 07:01 UTC from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan, heading for the international space station, or ISS. On board the Soyuz TMA-13 capsule are NASA astronaut Michael Fincke, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov, and the sixth space tourist Richard Garriott (W5KWQ).

The spacecraft will dock on Tuesday at the ISS, where the new crew is scheduled to spend 175 days in space, working on scientific experiments and expansion projects. Garriot, a computer game developer and son of NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, will spend about 10 days conducting experiments and photographing Earth. He will then return to Earth on October 24 accompanied by cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Sergei Volkov.
“While Richard is at the ISS window, he will be operating the amateur SSTV equipment and sending its images down to hams around the world. These downlinks can then be sent to an ARISS central repository for delayed and wider use. We further expect to be able to compare many of the images with near simultaneous, handheld, high resolution digital photo images”. We are very excited to share this experience with the Amateur Radio community, and thank our fellow hams for their support of this project.

A website has been established to enable amateur radio operators to share their pictures received from the International Space Station’s SSTV system. People wishing to view photos captured from the ISS or upload their own captured pictures can go to There is also a blog in which the ARISS SSTV Team will post announcements and additional information about the project. The blog can be viewed at

The planned downlink for this operation will be 145.80 MHz with Robot 36 as the expected SSTV mode of operation.

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