First Canadian space tourist arrived at the ISS

October 2, 2009 09:25 by scibuff

On September 30, 2009, Soyuz TMA-16 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on ISS Flight 20S carrying NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams, Roscosmos cosmonaut Maxim Surayev and spaceflight participant Guy Laliberté. Laliberté became the first Canadian space tourist and his trip marks the third space flight by a Canadian this year, after Robert Thirsk (Soyuz TMA-15, Expedition 20) and Julie Payette (STS-127). He will remain at the station for ten days and return back to Earth aboard Soyuz TMA-14 on October 11.

Soyuz TMA-16 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome

Soyuz TMA-16 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome

The Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft docked with the station today at 08:37 UTC marking thus the first time three Soyuz spacecrafts have been docked simultaneously at the ISS. After the hatch is opened at around 11:25 UTC there will be nine people on the ISS: three Russians, three Americans, two Canadians and one Belgian. Both Williams and Surayev will become Flight Engineers for the Expedition 21 crew under the command of Frank De Winne. They will remain on the ISS after De Winne’s departure, with Williams taking over the responsibility of ISS Commander for Expedition 22.

Soyuz TMA-15 Crew Photo. From left to right: Guy Laliberté, Maksim Surayev and Jeffrey Williams

Soyuz TMA-15 Crew Photo. From left to right: Guy Laliberté, Maksim Surayev and Jeffrey Williams