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BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan), December 17 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s Soyuz carrier rocket with the seventh digital series manned spacecraft on Monday morning was installed on the first - Gagarin launch pad of the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
“The rollout and installation of the Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the Soyuz TMA-07M spaceship passed normally,” a representative of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) at the southern spaceport said. On Wednesday, December 19, the crewmembers of long-term Expedition 34/35 are to fly on the ship to the International Space Station (ISS).
The gate of the operations and checkout building by the long standing tradition opened at 07:00 a.m., local time (05:00 MSK).
A locomotive, guarded by policemen, slowly started to carry the Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft e to the launch pad. The locomotive with the rocket covered the two-kilometre path to the launch pad in about two hours.
Dozens of journalists, space industry specialists, foreign tourists, VIP-guests were watching the rollout of the 50-metre rocket with the emblems of Roskosmos, Rocket and Space Corporation Energia and the flags of Russia and the United States on the nose cone.
“After the rocket’s erection and roll-up of the service tower, the launch-control teams started the works under the plan of the first launch day,” a spokesman for the Russian Space Agency told reporters.
Roskosmos specified that the rocket launch is scheduled for 16:12 MSK on December 19. During the remaining days before the launch experts will make the final checks of the carrier rocket with the Soyuz TMA-07M spaceship attached to it and will also fuel the carrier rocket.
On Tuesday, December 18, the State Commission will finally approve the crewmembers who will fly to the ISS. In anticipation of the commission’s meeting the main ISS crew comprising Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and NASA astronaut Thomas Marshburn is engaged in the final pre-flight training and gaining strength ahead of the long space mission.