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Easter and Astronauts

April 4, 2010

Easter is the most important religious holiday for many people around the world, but for astronauts this year, it’s a busy day of work. Seven astronauts will launch tomorrow at 6:21 a.m. EDT (10:21 GMT) from Kennedy Space Center on a thirteen-day mission to the international space station. The mission will stock the space station with new supplies, spare parts and science equipment. Earlier this Easter Sunday a Russian Soyuz spacecraft arrived at the space station with three Russian astronauts to join another trio already aboard the orbiting laboratory. The Russian craft launched on Good Friday from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. There are just three more shuttle missions after tomorrow’s, before the program goes into retirement.

The U.S. Air Force is also preparing to launch the X-37B spacecraft. This is a robotic craft that resembles a smaller version of the space shuttle. The X-37B will perform technology tests in orbit, then glide back to earth – like the space shuttle, landing on an airstrip in the California desert.

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