European astronaut Claudie Haigneré heads for the International Space Station

Launch of Andomède mission from Baikonur
21 October 2001

ESA PR 58-2001. A Soyuz launcher carrying Claudie Haigneré, the first European woman astronaut selected for an ISS mission, and her fellow crew members lifted off successfully today, Sunday 21 October, at 10:59 CEST (08:59 GMT), from Baïkonur, Kazakhstan. Their assignment: the "Andromède" mission.

Claudie Haigneré, a European Space Agency astronaut from France, and her fellow crew members Commander Victor Afanassiev and Flight Engineer Konstantin Kozeev, are due to dock with the Space Station this Tuesday at 12:43 CEST (10:43 GMT). The hatch between the craft and the Space Station will be opened about 90 minutes later.

Soyuz transfer to launch pad
Transfer of Soyuz to launch pad

The crew members of Andromède, a mission initiated by the French Ministry of Research and led by the French Space Agency CNES, will then start work alongside the International Space Station resident crew - Station commander Frank Culbertson, Soyuz commander Vladimir Dezhurov and flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin - who have been on board since mid-August this year.

More information - including live webstreaming of mission highlights, daily reports, Claudie's training diary and biography- - can be found on a dedicated webpage at http://www.esa.int/claudie. There you can also put your questions to ESA's astronauts in the discussion forum.

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