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December 27, 2013
(6 Dec. 2011) --- At the headquarters of the Russian Federal Space Agency, the Expedition 30/31 backup crew members share a moment with Russian space officials in a ceremonial send off Dec. 6, 2011 prior to their departure for their launch site in Baikonur, Kazakhstan on Dec. 8. From left to right are backup Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko, NASA Flight Engineer Suni Williams and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The prime crew, Oleg Kononenko, NASA's Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency are scheduled to launch Dec. 21 from Baikonur to the International Space Station in their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft. Photo credit: NASA

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