published Monday, December 17th, 2012

Soyuz put in place for mission to space station

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan — A Soyuz craft has been erected into launch position at a Russian-leased facility in the southern Kazakhstan steppe ahead of the start to a five-month mission for three astronauts at the International Space Station.

The craft was rolled out of its hangar on a flatbed train at exactly 7 a.m. local time (0100 GMT) Monday, in strict accordance with tradition.

NASA’s Tom Marshburn, Russia’s Roman Romanenko, and Canadian Space Agency’s Chris Hadfield will blast off Wednesday and travel for two days before reaching the orbiting laboratory.

Colleagues, friends and family withstood temperatures as low as -22 Fahrenheit (-30 degrees Celsius) worsened by chilly wind to watch the Soyuz being hoisted up at the site where Soviet cosmonaut Yury Gagarin began the first voyage to space in 1961.

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