The Soyuz rocket is rolled out to the launch pad by train, on Sunday, October 21, 2012, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.
Expedition 33/34 NASA Flight Engineer Kevin Ford, Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy and Flight Engineer Evgeny Tarelkin are scheduled to launch in their Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft at 10:51 UTC (6:51 a.m. EDT) on Tuesday, Oct. 23, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Also on board will be 32 medaka fish, which will become space station residents in a zero-gravity research aquarium. Yesterday the Soyuz was rolled out the launchpad, and this launch will take place from a different launch pad than usual, site 31. This will be the first manned launch from Site 31 since July 1984 when the Soyuz T-12 spacecraft carried three cosmonauts to the Russian Salyut 7 space station. The launchpad that is normally used is being upgraded.
See a gallery of images from the rollout, below.
The Soyuz rocket is rolled out to the launch pad by train. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
No smoking! Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
The Soyuz is raised to the upright position on the launchpad. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
The train engineer hangs out the window. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Pad workers install a safety railing at the launch pad. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
The Expedition 33 backup crew, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy (left), Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, right, are photographed in front of the Soyuz rocket shortly after it arrived at the launch pad. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Workers climb up to the Soyuz rocket after it was erected at the launch pad. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
Nancy Atkinson is currently Universe Today’s Contributing Editor. Previously she served as UT’s Senior Editor and lead writer, and has worked with Astronomy Cast and 365 Days of Astronomy. Nancy is the author of the new book “Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos.” She is also a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.