Soyuz Rocket Taken to Launchpad for Next ISS Mission

Category: Technology / Dec 17, 2012 1:53PM EDT
The Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft, which launches a mixed Russian-American-Canadian space team from a Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, was transported to the launch pad on Monday (December 17). The craft was hoisted into a vertical position on the launch pad from which it will transport crew members Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield with his crew mates Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and U.S. astronaut Thomas Marshburn to the International Space Station (ISS) on December 19. Friends and family members of the crew as well as crew members' colleagues braved temperatures as low as minus 25 Fahrenheit in a chilly wind, to watch the Soyuz being put in position. "It's a brisk morning here at the Baikonur cosmodrome, it's about minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit, it's harsh conditions, as you see there is frost forming on people's faces, on eyelashes. It's a great day, they've just rolled the Soyuz vehicle, it's behind us, they've just rolled it out of the assembly building, just a few miles from here, backed it up under the launch pad, and they are doing the process now to stand the rocket up on the launch pad," said U.S. astronaut Michael Fossum who worked at the ISS in 2011. The crew has been in Baikonur for the last two weeks making final preparations. The three crew members have been training for their mission for over four years and will join two Russian cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut at the ISS.