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University of Illinois graduate Mike Hopkins is set to launch for the International Space Station Wednesday afternoon at 3:58 p.m. CST. He will join four other astronauts aboard a Soyuz spacecraft as part of Expedition 37 lifting off from the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It is his first mission to space.
According to a NASA press release, Expedition 37 will conduct “new investigations [that] will focus on human health and human physiology.”
Hopkins graduated from U of I in 1991 with a degree in aerospace engineering before earning his masters from Stanford University. Hopkins was also captain of the Fighting Illini football team.
The day is finally here.Next tweet from space.Thx for well wishes (sorry I couldn't respond to them all) & thx for sharing in this adventure— Mike Hopkins (@Astro_illini) September 25, 2013