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BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan), May 26 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian booster Soyuz-FG with the spaceship Soyuz TMA-09M, which will bring a new long-term expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), was put on the first launching pad of the Baikonur spaceport.
“The transportation and putting of the booster Soyuz-FG with the spaceship Soyuz TMA-09M docked to it passed as scheduled,” a Roscosmos representative at the southern spaceport told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
The gates of the integration house opened at about 07:00 local time (05:00 Moscow time) on Sunday. The train convoyed by the policemen guarding it, the armoured personnel carriers and fire trucks has brought the launch vehicle Soyuz-FG with the spaceship Soyuz TMA-09M docked to it to the launching pad.
Tens of journalists, specialists of the space industry, foreign tourists and VIP-guests were watching the delivery of a 50-metre-long rocket with the symbols of Roscosmos, the rocket and space corporation Energia and the flags of Russia, the United States and the European Union put on the fairing.
The rocket is to be blasted off at 00:32 Moscow time on May 29, Roscosmos noted. The specialists will make final checks of the booster with the spaceship Soyuz TMA-09M docked to it and will fuel the booster in the days before the launch.
On Monday, May 27, the state committee will approve finally a line-up of the ISS crew. The resident ISS crew of Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg and European Space Agency astronaut Luca Parmitano and their backups, namely Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin, NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Japan Space Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata are waiting for a meeting of the state committee. They are taking the pre-launch training sessions, doing exercises during the daily walks. An upcoming ISS mission or the orbit will last for about four months.