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MOSCOW, December 6 (Itar-Tass) — The main and backup crews of long-term Expedition 34/35 to the International Space Station (ISS) on Thursday are to fly to the Baikonur cosmodrome where they will be awaiting the launch of the Soyuz spacecraft. Press secretary of the Cosmonaut Training Centre (CTC) Irina Rogova told Itar-Tass that “Departure is scheduled for 11:00 MSK, and that before that astronauts would meet with journalists and hold the traditional photo-and video session in Star City.”
The crews, as usual, will fly to Baikonur from Chkalovsky airport outside Moscow in two planes. This is done for security reasons, although there not a single incident has happened in the history of flights from Chkalovsky to Baikonur.
Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Chris Hadfield and NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn are to make at Baikonur two final fitting of the Sokol spacesuits and examine their Soyuz TMA-07M spaceship on which they will fly in orbit in two weeks.
Together with the main crew, their backups - Fyodor Yurchikhin, Luca Parmitano and Karen Nyberg will conduct the final operations before the start. They will be on standby until the launch when the main take their seats in the spacecraft at the launch pad.
The launch of the Soyuz TMA-07M spaceship from Baikonur is scheduled for December 19, and its docking with the ISS - for December 21.