A Soyuz launcher carrying Claudie HaignerŽ, 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 Ba•konur, Kazakhstan. Their assignment: the “Andromde” mission.

Claudie HaignerŽ, 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.

The crew members of Andromde, 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

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 . And take the
opportunity to put questions to ESA’s astronaut.

For further information, contact:

ESA Media Relations




[Image 1:
Andromde mission Soyuz launcher lifts-off from Baikonur, 10:59 CEST,
21 October 2001 (Photo: ESA/CNES).

[Image 2:
Transfer of the Andromde mission Soyuz launcher from its final assembly
building to the launch pad No.1, Baikonur, 19 October 2001 (Photo: