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Space station crew arrives in Baikonur, will stay in space for a year

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Space   International Space Station

The Expedition 43 crew to the International Space Station consisting of NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka have arrived in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

Gennady Padalka is to spend half a year at the ISS, and Mikhail Kornienko and Scott Kelly are to stay there for almost a year (345 days) for the first time in the history of the ISS.

The teams of FSUE TsENKI division Yuzhny Space Center lined up at the launch complex of pad 1 of the cosmodrome. After that, the preparation of the launch complex facilities for the upcoming launch started. The rocket with the manned spacecraft is to be delivered to the launch device on March 25.

The teams of the Samara Progress rocket and space center and Yuzhny Space Center were connecting four lateral blocks (the first stage) to the rocket’s central block (the second stage).

At night, Soyuz TMA-16M was transported from the assembly, integration, and test building of pad 254 of the cosmodrome to the fuelling station of pad 31 of the cosmodrome. The experts of Russia's rocket and space industry enterprises started to fuel the propulsion unit of Soyuz spacecraft with propellant components and compressed gases. After the fuelling, the spacecraft will be transported back to the assembly, integration, and test building for further pre-launch processing.

The manned spacecraft is scheduled to be launched from Baikonur at 10.43 p.m. Moscow time, on March 27.

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