Preparations for the Journey

Greetings from Star City, Russia—the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center—just outside Moscow!

Our Soyuz crew—Maxim Suraev, Guy Laliberte, and I—are just finishing up our training for a flight to the International Space Station (ISS) and heading to the remote location of Baikonur, Kazakhstan, for final launch preparations on the Soyuz TMA-16.

I am NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams and this will be my 3rd flight to space, 3rd trip to the ISS, and 2nd long duration expedition to the orbital outpost.  Max and I will remain on board ISS for nearly six months executing the missions of Expeditions 21 & 22.  Guy will remain on board for about 9 days and return to earth with the crew we are replacing.

It has dawned on me that very few have had a glimpse into the very interesting and historic world of human spaceflight, especially behind the scenes in the preparation and execution.  That is the case for ISS, in general, but especially true in Russia and Kazakhstan with an American on a Russian Soyuz.  Because of that, I’m going to attempt to provide some background, describe the experience along the way, introduce you to the rest of the team, and let you vicariously come along on the journey.

 

Welcome aboard!

Jeff

20 thoughts on “Preparations for the Journey”

  1. Dear Mr.Jeff Williams, I’m an italian fan of Nasa. My english isn’t very well but I hope to explain my big admiration for your missions in the space.
    I would like to go in the space for see our wonderfull earth from the deep sky.
    Good luck from Italy.
    Roberta

  2. Is it as exciting to be in space as us would – be, (dreamed of being) astronauts have imagined? Do you see many odd shaped things swimming or floating passed the windows? What do feel inside, that is different than standing on the groud? -C.

  3. Hi Jeff,

    Looking forward to following your adventures on this blog and Twitter. Enjoyed watching your last flight on Expedition 13 with Pavel on NASA TV. Hope you take just as many great photos this time!

    Have a safe flight and successful mission.

    Bryan

  4. I am looking forward to reading about your experiences aboard the ISS. I toured a full size replica of the ISS many years ago when NASA was building public support of the program. It is amazing what can be accomplished with determination and team work.

  5. great jeff! my 3 1/2 year old son and i are excited to follow along. we have been enjoying watching the nasa channel and all of the amazing footage of life on the iss, so it will be great to hear about all that goes into preparing for that!

  6. hey jeff how are u doing well i hope tranning gose well for u and the crew i will be lookin forward to your launch i am a big fan of nasa
    i watch nas tv on dish network satillte i think nasa is so cool
    i even watch the shuttles flight the shuttle will be miss after stop flying but all good things must come a end i am lookin for to see nasa
    go back to the moon and to mars for the frist time well good luck
    jeff and i can’t wait to see yall launch

  7. Awesome! This initiative is really a must for Space Enthusiasts. More so for me, being able to witness a person I have had the pleasure to work with going to Space to be the Commander of a Space Station. I hope you remember me (I was your translator while you were in Brazil in the last 3 days of your trip) and I hope to be able to follow your journey from now on. To the infinite and beyond!

  8. Awesome! This initiative is really a must for Space Enthusiasts. More so for me, being able to witness a person I have had the pleasure to work with going to Space to be the Commander of a Space Station. I hope you remember me (I was your translator while you were in Brazil in the last 3 days of your trip) and I hope to be able to follow your journey from now on. To the infinite and beyond!

  9. Congratulations to dear Jeff Williams for his tremendous dedication to space exploration and different missions aboard the ISS. I had the great honor and pleasure to meet him in Brasilia, Brazil, where I live, through our Brazilian astronaut Marcos Pontes, when they came here some time ago, together with cosmonaut Vinogradov( hope this is well spelled…) I am very involved with space stuff, specially since I started presiding the National Space Society here. SPACE IS OUR REAL PLACE, JEFF! Hugs and GOD SPEED!!!
    Maria Thome

  10. Hello Jeff and greetings from Park Falls WI.
    We will be listening from here hoping to catch you on the amateur radio in the ISS.
    Maybe we could set up an informal sched sometime?
    Bob

  11. Hello and a huge thank you for this opportunity! It is exciting that we(our students included) will be able to see how your mission is going on a first hand basis.

    Godspeed.

  12. I would like to know if there was a earthbound object headed for earth from outer space, when you ( in the spacestation)see it how long would it take before it would hit the earth and when would it be reported to us that it is coming toward us???? It has been prodicted that a astrod will distroy the earth in 2012 what is your oppinion on this?

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