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BAIKONUR, April 07. /ITAR-TASS/. The Soyuz-U carrier rocket with the Progress M-23M cargo spacecraft have been installed on the first launch pad of the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.After the rocket was put into the vertical position, the service tower was rolled up to it. “Today, the works under schedule of the first launch day will be carried out. April 8 is to be a reserve day, and on April 9 the works under schedule of the second (launch) day will be carried out,” sources at the southern spaceport told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
The launch of the Soyuz-U carrier rocket is scheduled for 19:25 Moscow standard time (15:25 GMT) on April 9. The cargo spacecraft will dock to the International Space Station (ISS) six hours after the blastoff. The six-hour flight technology (the spacecraft makes four revolutions around the Earth) was first tested on the Progress M-16M spacecraft. Before that, all cargo spacecraft had used to fly to the ISS under a two-day flight scheme.
The Progress M-23M will deliver to the ISS 2.5 tonnes of cargo for the station’s and crew life support, including fuel, research equipment, oxygen, water, scientific equipment sets for experiments, clothes and food products. The cargo spaceship will also deliver to the ISS parcels and presents for the ISS crew from their family members.
Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Tyurin, Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, NASA astronauts Richard Mastracchio and Steven Swanson, as well as Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata are currently on the ISS orbiting mission.