Soyuz rocket ready for launch

2010-03-31 16:37
Pad technicians secure the Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft shortly after it was rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Bill Ingalls, AP)

Pad technicians secure the Soyuz TMA-18 spacecraft shortly after it was rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Bill Ingalls, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • NASA
    The USA accelerated the space race in 1958 by forming NASA. Eager readers will learn about the... Now R441.00
    buy now

Baikonur - Technicians at the Russian-leased space centre in Kazakhstan hoisted a rocket onto its launch pad ahead of Friday's blast-off of a Nasa astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts to the International Space Station (ISS).

Nasa's Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko are to blast off at 04:04 on Friday for their six-month mission in the orbiting science lab.

Workers at the craft's storage hangar slid open the gate just before daybreak on Wednesday and mounted the Soyuz rocket on a flatbed train for a slow trip to the launch site.

Armed police with sniffer dogs walked ahead of the train and a helicopter circled overhead amid heightened security following the Moscow subway bombings, which killed dozens of people.

At the launch pad where Yuri Gagarin began the first human trip into orbit in 1961, the rocket was winched up into place. Later, supporting mechanical arms were slowly raised into place, to keep the rocket secure until shortly before blast-off.

Sending supplies

The three astronauts departing on Friday will join three crew members currently aboard the space station - Russian commander Igor Kotov, Nasa astronaut Timothy J Creamer and Soichi Noguchi of Japan. Within days of the Soyuz docking at the space station, a US shuttle with seven people on board is due to arrive for a brief visit, ensuring a busy time for the newcomers.

"They'll be jumping straight into a space shuttle arriving next week that carries several tons of supplies, including additional life support equipment," Nasa spokesperson Rob Navias said.

Navias said one of the upcoming expedition's main objectives will be to install additional research equipment and expand science capability on the station.

The Soyuz has evolved from its role as the workhorse of the Soviet Union's space programme - it launched the world's first satellite into space in 1957 - into an essential resource in ferrying astronauts to and from the space station.

Dependence on the Russian-made spacecraft will increase over the next few years with only four launches left for the space shuttle before it is retired. That will leave Nasa without its own means to send astronauts into space for the first time in half a century.

- AP
Read more on:    nasa  |  russia  |  space
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

20% off all TV Series!

Want to have a chilled day at home? Get 20% off TV series, the perfect excuse to "veg out". Shop now!

Save R700 on the Hisense LED TV Now R2499

Get the Hisense 32” HD ready LED TV for only R2499. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Today is one of those days where the more positive and optimistic you are the more opportunities you seem to attract....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.