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Soyuz ready for liftoff!

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posted on Apr, 18 2004 @ 09:25 PM
BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) -- A spacecraft that will carry a new crew to the international space station has been hoisted into launch position in preparation for the third manned mission to the orbital outpost since NASA's shuttle disaster sidelined the U.S. space fleet.

The 132-foot rocket topped by a Soyuz TMA-4 spacecraft was carefully rolled out of a hangar on Saturday at the Baikonur cosmodrome and slowly drawn by rail to the launch site for manned space missions.

Police and two fire engines escorted the rocket on its two-hour journey. A sniffer dog ran ahead of the train checking the track for explosives.

Russian Cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, American astronaut Michael Fincke and Dutch astronaut Andre Kuipers are to blast off Monday aboard the spacecraft on the third manned mission to the orbital outpost since the halt of the U.S. shuttle program following the February 2003 Columbia disaster.

With the U.S. space fleet sidelined, Russia's non-reusable rockets are the only means of delivering astronauts and cargo to the space station.

At least the Russians still have the spirit. But seriously, are we being such -female genitalia slang- to really not even go into space during the interim time between the Columbia explosion to when we get a new spacecraft? (by we, I mean USA)

posted on Apr, 19 2004 @ 02:53 AM
Yay! It was a successfull launch.

Reuters article here:

quote from the Reuters feed
Following decades of tradition, the crew watched a Soviet blockbuster film and took part in a quiz on it on Sunday. They were blessed by an Orthodox priest and left autographs on a hotel door before going to the launch-pad early on Monday.

Oddly the reporter left out the tradition of peeing on the bus' tires. Cosmonaut traditions are being covered up. I smell a conspiracy! ....or is that just the bus tire?

The movie they watch is not really a blockbuster by modern standards. It is however a part of the traditional routine to watch Белое Солнце Пустыни (White Sun of the Desert) before every flight.

Some sources claim that Yuri Gagarin himself started the tradition by watching this film before his first flight, but that's not correct. White Sun of the Desert was made in 1969, long after Gagarin's first flight. Now, the bus tire tradition - it does trace roots all the way back to Gagarin.

posted on Apr, 21 2004 @ 02:57 AM
The Soyuz module has made it safely to the ISS and docked successfully. The hatches will open later today to exchange crews.

Russia's Soyuz spacecraft docked with the International Space Station on Wednesday, delivering a Russian, an American and a Dutchman to replace the current ISS crew after a six-month stint in orbit.

"The spacecraft successfully docked the ISS in automatic mode at around 9 a.m. (0500 GMT)," a mission control spokeswoman said. Soyuz TMA-4 lifted off on Monday from the Baikonur space centre Russia rents in the Central Asian state of Kazakhstan.

Russian spacecraft docks with ISS


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