Space

March 21, 2018
 

Soyuz rocket tolls out at T-minus two days to launch

The Soyuz rocket is raised into a vertical position on the launch pad, Monday, March 19, 2018, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

A pair of U.S. astronauts and one Russian cosmonaut are just two days away from launching on a 50-hour, 34-orbit flight to the International Space Station.

Flight Engineers Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel will flank Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev inside the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft and blast off Wednesday at 1:44 p.m., EDT, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz rocket that will shoot the new Expedition 55-56 trio to space rolled out to its launch pad early this morning. A train slowly hauled the rocket, as it laid horizontally on its side, from the processing facility to its pad where it was raised vertically for servicing ahead of its launch.

Workers are seen on the launch pad as the Soyuz rocket arrives after being rolled out by train, Monday, March 19, 2018, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Expedition 55 crewmembers Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel of NASA and Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos are scheduled to launch at 1:44 p.m., EDT, March 21 and will spend the next five months living and working aboard the International Space Station.

All three crewmates are veteran space-flyers and are due to arrive at their new home Friday when they dock to the Poisk module at 3:41 p.m.  NASA TV will broadcast all the launch and docking activities including the hatch opening and crew greeting ceremony live.

Waiting for them onboard the orbital laboratory are Flight Engineers Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai and Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov who have been living in space since Dec. 17. The orbiting trio continues to ensure the station is flying in tip-top shape while conducting advanced space science to benefit humans on Earth and in space.




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