Monday, September 23, 2013

Soyuz Rocket on Launch Pad for the Upcoming ISS Mission

The Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft is erected into position after being rolled out to the launch pad by train on Sept. 23, 2013, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Launch of the Soyuz rocket is scheduled for Sept. 26, Kazakh time, and will send Expedition 37 Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov, NASA Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins and Russian Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy on a five and a half month mission aboard the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

The Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft was rolled out to its launch pad on Monday ahead of the planned manned mission to the International Space Station. A spokesman for Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said the rollout took place in normal regime. The rocket is to blast off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 4:58 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, September 25 (2:58 a.m. Kazakh time Sept. 26) to take new ISS crew members to the orbital station.

NASA Television coverage will begin at 4 p.m. and will include video of pre-launch activities leading up to spacecraft boarding.

Large gantry mechanisms on either side of the Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft are raised into position to secure the rocket at the launch pad on Sept. 23, 2013 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Launch of the Soyuz rocket is scheduled for Sept. 26, Kazakh time, and will send Expedition 37 Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov, NASA Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins and Russian Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy on a five and a half month mission aboard the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi
Large gantry mechanisms on either side of the Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft are raised into position to secure the rocket at the launch pad on Sept. 23, 2013 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Launch of the Soyuz rocket is scheduled for Sept. 26, Kazakh time, and will send Expedition 37 Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov, NASA Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins and Russian Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy on a five and a half month mission aboard the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

The main crew comprises Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kotov and Sergei Ryazansky and NASA astronaut Michael Hopkins, while the backup crew are Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev of Russia and NASA astronaut Steven Swanson.

Touring the Korolev Museum at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Expedition 37/38 prime and backup crew members pose for pictures by an old Russian launch and entry suit Sept. 20. From left to right are prime Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins of NASA, prime Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov, prime Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy and backup crew members Oleg Artemyev, Alexander Skvortsov and Steve Swanson of NASA. Hopkins, Kotov and Ryazanskiy are preparing for launch Sept. 26, Kazakh time, in the Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft to begin a five and a half month mission on the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov
Touring the Korolev Museum at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Expedition 37/38 prime and backup crew members pose for pictures by an old Russian launch and entry suit Sept. 20. From left to right are prime Flight Engineer Michael Hopkins of NASA, prime Soyuz Commander Oleg Kotov, prime Flight Engineer Sergey Ryazanskiy and backup crew members Oleg Artemyev, Alexander Skvortsov and Steve Swanson of NASA. Hopkins, Kotov and Ryazanskiy are preparing for launch Sept. 26, Kazakh time, in the Soyuz TMA-10M spacecraft to begin a five and a half month mission on the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

At about 12:25 a.m. Sept. 26, hatches between the Soyuz and the space station will open. Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos, as well as Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency will greet Hopkins, Kotov and Ryazanskiy.

Hopkins, Kotov and Ryazanskiy will remain aboard the station until mid-March. Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano, who have been aboard the orbiting laboratory since late May, will return to Earth Nov. 11, leaving Kotov as commander of Expedition 38.

The names of the three new crew members will be officially announced on Tuesday.

Credit: RIA NovostiNASA

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