Another Russian Soyuz rocket is now preparing for an attempted launch at 11:41 A.M. EDT (9:41 P.M. local time) on Friday.
Image Credit: ESA/M. Pedoussaut
The three-stage rocket was spotted mid-transport via railroad tracks as it departed a large hangar to its destination: the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Video footage shared on YouTube by a local Roscosmos-based TV station showed it slowly rolling along to its destination and hoisted into upright position by powerful hydraulic lifts:
The Soyuz rocket will be carrying three men from Earth’s surface to the International Space Station, where they will spend a few months carrying out science experiments. Among those chosen to go are American astronaut Randy Bresnik, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, and European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli.
There are just three people on the International Space Station as of this writing: Fyodor Yurchikhin, Peggy Whitson, and Jack Fischer. The three additional men will bring the floating space laboratory to full capacity and provide a much-needed boost in manpower to help speed up the pace of experiments.
Currently, the Russian Soyuz rocket is the only means NASA has of sending astronauts to space, but that should all change soon. Both Boeing and SpaceX are scheduled to launch their first crewed missions next year, officially bringing astronaut launches back to American soil since the Space Shuttle era back in 2011.
To keep up with the new International Space Station visitors, in addition to those that are already serving there, SpaceX is preparing a Falcon 9 supply launch for mid-August that will send fresh food and experiments to those onboard.