Space station crew's ride rolls to launch pad
BY SPACEFLIGHT NOW
Posted: December 13, 2010
Rolling out to Gagarin's launch pad on a bitterly cold December morning, the next Soyuz rocket now stands poised for Wednesday's blastoff carrying Russian, American and Italian crewmates on their journey to the International Space Station.
The Soyuz TMA-20 capsule and its three-stage booster traveled by rail from the final assembly building to the Baikonur Cosmodrome pad at dawn today.
NASA's Cady Coleman, Russia's Dmitry Kondratyev and the European Space Agency's Paolo Nespoli will ride the rocket into orbit Wednesday, launching at 2:09 p.m. EST (1909 GMT). They are headed for a Friday arrival at the space station with docking around 3:12 p.m. EST (2012 GMT).
This collection of photos shows the capsule being readied for flight, placed within the protective aerodynamic nose cone, hauled to the rocket processing hangar and mated to the Soyuz launcher. The completed vehicle then rolls to the pad.
Photo credit: Energia