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Manned space mission set to resume with Soyuz launch

The Soyuz vehicle at the launch pad getting ready for Monday's lift-off. A Roscosmos photo

BAIKONUR (BNS): Russia will resume manned space flight programme to the International Space Station after a gap of over two months when its Soyuz rocket carrying a three-member space crew blasts off on early Monday morning.

Two Russian cosmonauts and a US astronaut will head to the space station in a Soyuz TMA-22 spacecraft.

The trio will blast off on board a Soyuz-FG rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 0414 GMT, according to NASA.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, and astronaut Dan Burbank will join Expedition 29 crew members when their Soyuz capsule docks with the ISS's Poisk mini-research module at 0530 GMT Wednesday.

Monday's launch will be the first manned mission to the ISS after the August 24 disaster when a Soyuz U rocket carrying an unmanned cargo craft had crashed minutes after lift-off.

Russia grounded all Soyuz vehicles following the mishap and also deferred the next manned space flight mission scheduled for September 22.

On October 30, the country successfully launched the Progress M-13M cargo craft using the Soyuz-U carrier rocket on a supply mission to the ISS.

Following the end of US space shuttle programme in July this year, the Russian Soyuz vehicles remain the sole means to ferry astronauts and cargo to the orbital station.

Meanwhile, the Expedition 29 crew members -- NASA's Mike Fossum, Japan's Satoshi Furukawa and Russia's Sergei Volkov -- will disembark from the space station five days after the arrival of the Soyuz TMA-22 capsule.

The trio is scheduled to undock from the Rassvet mini-research module on November 21 and land in Kazakhstan the same day, NASA said.


Soyuz  ISS  Space  

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