Dutch Delta Mission Launches
A Soyuz TMA-4 spacecraft carrying three astronauts is heading to the International Space Station (ISS) as part of an 11-day mission. The Delta mission lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The crew consists of European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut André Kuipers, Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka and NASA astronaut Edward “Mike” Fincke.
The crew will spend nine days on the ISS, where Kuipers will carry out an extensive experiment program in the fields of human physiology, biology, microbiology, physical science, Earth observation, education and technology.
The Dutch government is sponsoring the Delta mission through its Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and through the Ministry of Economic Affairs.