independent

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Craft set for space station mission

Three astronauts from the US, Russia and Canada are due to blast off on Wednesday on their journey to the International Space Station (Nasa/PA)

A Soyuz spacecraft has been moved into launch position at a Russian-leased facility in the southern Kazakhstan steppe for a five-month mission for three astronauts at the International Space Station.

The craft was rolled out of its hangar on a flatbed train at exactly 7am local time (1am GMT), in strict accordance with tradition.

Tom Marshburn, from Nasa, Russian Roman Romanenko, and Canadian Space Agency's Chris Hadfield will blast off on Wednesday and travel for two days before reaching the orbiting laboratory.

Colleagues, friends and family withstood temperatures as low as minus 30C, worsened by chilly wind, to watch the Soyuz being hoisted up at the site where Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin began the first voyage to space in 1961.

Press Association

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