October 9, 2008

Baikonur Preparing to Launch Soyuz Tma-13 Spacecraft

BAIKONUR. Oct 9 (Interfax-AVN) - Teams of the Federal Space Agency and the Baikonur space center are attaching the Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft to the Soyuz-FG rocket.

"The process will take about six hours," a space center source told Interfax-AVN.

The spacecraft is being attached to the rocket in a hangar of CSKB Progress (the head designer and manufacturer of Soyuz-FG rockets) with the assistance of representatives of the Energia Aerospace Corporation (the designer of manned spacecraft).

The launch is scheduled for 11:01 a.m. Moscow time on October 12.

The Soyuz TMA-13 crew will be made up of Russia's Yuri Lonchakov, NASA's Michael Fincke and U.S. space tourist Richard Garriott.

Garriott will spend about ten days onboard the International Space Station (ISS) and return to the Earth together with Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononeko and Sergei Volkov. Lonchakov and Fincke will continue their mission together with NASA's Gregory Chamitoff.

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