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Rocket Soyuz with piloted spaceship put on Baikonur launching pad

March 23, 2014, 9:05 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On March 26 the crew of next long-term ISS-39/40 expedition is to fly to ISS

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© Archiev ITAR-TASS/Michail Pochuev

MOSCOW, March 23. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian rocket Soyuz with a piloted spaceship was put on a launching pad at spaceport Baikonur on Sunday morning.

“Delivery and putting of rocket Soyuz-FG with docked piloted spaceship Soyuz TMA-07M passed as scheduled,” an official of Russian space agency Roscosmos said at the southern Russian spaceport. “The gates of an operations and checkout facility opened at 7am local time (1am GMT) on Sunday according to years-long tradition,” the space official said.

A train convoyed by police has brought slowly rocket Soyuz-FG with docked spaceship Soyuz TMA-12M to the launching pad. Logotypes of Roscosmos, Russian aerospace corporation Energia and the national flags of Russia and the United States are placed on the rocket.

After the placement of the rocket on the launching pad launch teams started works according to the plan of the first day of pre-launch operations. 

On Wednesday, March 26, the crew of next long-term ISS-39/40 expedition is to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) for an orbital mission onboard this spaceship. The rocket is to be launched at 1.17am Moscow time on Wednesday (9.17pm GMT on Tuesday). For the days before the launch specialists will conduct final checks of the rocket with manned spaceship Soyuz TMA-12M docked to it and will fuel the booster.

Roscosmos cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Artemyev and NASA astronaut Steven Swanson will be first to fly to the ISS this year. However, their substitute crewmembers Alexander Samokutyaev, Yelena Serova and NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore will be on standby until the very launch.

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