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Crews of International Space Station leave by air for Baikonur ahead of launch

March 13, 2014, 15:32 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Planes with the cosmonaut crew moved from Chkalov airfield to Baikonur for getting ready for the forthcoming orbital mission and inspect the spacesuits and a spaceship
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Steve Swanson, Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev

Steve Swanson, Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev

© ITAR-TASS/mikhail Metsel

MOSCOW, March 13,  /ITAR-TASS/. The primary and backup crews for the 39/40 long-duration mission aboard the International Space Station have left by air for the Baikonur spaceport from Chkalov airfield outside Moscow, an official at the Cosmonauts' Training Centre told Itar-Tass.

Traditionally, the crews left for Baikonur by different planes for safety reasons. One of the planes carries the primary crew - cosmonauts of Roscosmos (Federal Space Agency) Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Artemyev, as well as NASA astronaut Steve Swanson. The other Baikonur-bound plane is carrying backup pilots - Alexander Samokutyayev, Yelena Serova, and Barry Wilmore.

Prior to departure, the space crews met with journalists in the Zvyozdny Gorodok (Star City), and had a photo picture taken near the monument to Yuri Gagarin.

At Baikonur, the crews will go ahead with getting ready for the forthcoming orbital mission and inspect the spacesuits and a spaceship. The launch of the manned transport spaceship "Soyuz TMA-12M" is scheduled for March 26.

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