• U.S. Army Soldier and NASA astronaut Col. Timothy J. Creamer, Expedition 22/23 flight engineer, attired in a Russian Sokol launch and entry suit, takes a break from training in Star City, Russia, to pose for a portrait.

    Col. Timothy J. (T.J.) Creamer

    U.S. Army Soldier and NASA astronaut Col. Timothy J. Creamer, Expedition 22/23 flight engineer, attired in a Russian Sokol launch and entry suit, takes a break from training in Star City, Russia, to pose for a portrait.

  • Expedition 22 flight engineers Oleg Kotov, Col. Timothy J. Creamer and Soichi Noguchi launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

    Soldier launches for Space Station with Expedition 22 crew

    Expedition 22 flight engineers Oleg Kotov, Col. Timothy J. Creamer and Soichi Noguchi launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

  • The International Space Station Expedition 22 crew. From the left (front row) are U.S. Army Soldier and mission commander and retired U.S. Army colonel Jeffrey N. Williams and flight engineer Oleg Kotov. From the left (back row) are U.S. Army Soldier Col. Timothy J. (T.J.) Creamer, Maxim Suraev and Soichi Noguchi, all flight engineers.

    International Space Station Expedition 22 crew

    The International Space Station Expedition 22 crew. From the left (front row) are U.S. Army Soldier and mission commander and retired U.S. Army colonel Jeffrey N. Williams and flight engineer Oleg Kotov. From the left (back row) are U.S. Army Soldier...

  • The Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft being rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on Dec. 18, 2009. It will transport U.S. Army Soldier and NASA astronaut Col. Timothy J. Creamer, flight engineer; Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, Soyuz commander; and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, flight engineer, to the International Space Station.

    Prep for launch

    The Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft being rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on Dec. 18, 2009. It will transport U.S. Army Soldier and NASA astronaut Col. Timothy J. Creamer, flight engineer; Russian cosmonaut Oleg...

  • The flags of Russia, Japan, the United States and Kazakhstan are seen flying shortly after the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft was raised into vertical position at the launch pad of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on Dec. 18, 2009.

    Prep for launch

    The flags of Russia, Japan, the United States and Kazakhstan are seen flying shortly after the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft was raised into vertical position at the launch pad of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, on Dec. 18, 2009.

  • At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, U.S. Army Soldier and NASA flight engineer Col. Timothy J. Creamer checks out the systems inside the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft during a dress rehearsal at the launch site Dec. 10, 2009 in preparation for the Dec. 21 launch to the International Space Station. Creamer will launch with Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov and Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency for a six-month stay on the complex. They will join Expedition 22 commander Col. (Ret.) Jeffrey Williams of NASA and Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev, who have been on the station since October.

    Systems check

    At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, U.S. Army Soldier and NASA flight engineer Col. Timothy J. Creamer checks out the systems inside the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft during a dress rehearsal at the launch site Dec. 10, 2009 in preparation for the Dec...

  • At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, International Space Station Expedition 22 crew members take a moment for photographs following a fit check of their Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft at the launch site’s integration facility Dec. 10, 2009. Pictured are U.S. Army Soldier and NASA flight engineer Timothy J. Creamer (left), Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov (center) and Flight Engineer Soichi Noguchi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

    International Space Station Expedition 22 crew

    At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, International Space Station Expedition 22 crew members take a moment for photographs following a fit check of their Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft at the launch site’s integration facility Dec. 10, 2009. Pictured...

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan -- NASA astronaut and U.S. Army Soldier Col. Timothy J. (T.J.) Creamer, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, all flight engineers, launched in their Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:52 p.m. (EST) Sunday to begin a two-day journey to the International Space Station (ISS).

Less than 10 minutes after launch, their spacecraft reached orbit and its antennas and solar arrays were deployed.

NASA astronaut and Expedition 22 commander Col. (Ret.) Jeff Williams and Russian cosmonaut and flight engineer Maxim Suraev are currently the sole residents on the station, having arrived Oct. 2 aboard their Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft.

Creamer, Kotov and Noguchi will complete the Expedition 22 crew when they dock to the station on Dec. 22.

Creamer, 50, from Upper Marlboro, Md., will be making his first spaceflight. Assigned to NASA's Johnson Space Center in 1995 as a space shuttle vehicle integration test engineer, he supported eight shuttle missions as vehicle integration test team lead and specialized in coordinating the information technologies for the Astronaut Office.

Selected as an astronaut in 1998, Creamer worked with hardware integration and robotics and was a support astronaut for Expedition 12. Upon docking with the ISS, Creamer will be greeted by Expedition 21 and 22 crew commander and retired U.S. Army colonel Jeffrey N. Williams. Williams previously resided on the space station for six months in 2006 as a member of the Expedition 13 crew.

Kotov, 44, a physician and Russian Air Force colonel, will be making his second spaceflight and serving his second tour aboard the station. Selected as a cosmonaut in 1996, he trained as a cosmonaut researcher for a flight on the Soyuz and as a backup crew member to the Mir-26 mission.

A former lead test doctor at Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, he served as a flight engineer and Soyuz commander on the Expedition 15 mission in 2007. He will be a flight engineer for Expedition 22 and assume the duties of Expedition 23 commander when Williams departs in March 2010.

Noguchi, 44, an aeronautical engineer from Chigasaki, Kanagawa, Japan, will be making his second spaceflight. He was selected by the National Space Development Agency of Japan, now JAXA, as an astronaut candidate in 1996 and trained at Johnson Space Center.

After completing his astronaut training, he supported development and integration of the station's Japanese Kibo experiment module. Noguchi flew on the STS-114 return-to-flight mission of Discovery in 2005. He has logged nearly 14 days in space, including more than 20 hours of spacewalks to test new procedures for shuttle inspection and repair techniques.

Page last updated Sun December 20th, 2009 at 20:18