Soyuz spacecraft transported to launchpad ahead of ISS expedition
Moscow, Nov 14 (IANS) A Soyuz spacecraft on Monday completed its final terrestrial voyage to the launchpad at the Russian-managed Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan ahead of its November 17 journey to the International Space Station (ISS).
The Soyuz MS-03 Expedition 50 is scheduled to transport astronauts Peggy Annette Whitson of NASA, Frenchman Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency and Oleg Novickiy of the Russian Roscosmos Space Agency to the ISS, Efe news reported.
For French astronaut Pesquet, the voyage to NASA’s ISS, which orbits between 330 to 435 km above the earth’s surface, is to be his first spaceflight.
Meanwhile, Commander Novickiy has ventured into space previously, living aboard the ISS for five months in 2012/2013.
Flight Engineer Whitson has journeyed to the ISS twice before, first in 2002 and then later in 2007.
Whitson has spent a total of 376 days in space, making her NASA’s most experienced female astronaut and one of the most experienced in the world.