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Launch vehicle with Soyuz MS-12 CTS is on the launch pad
by Staff Writers
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (SPX) Mar 13, 2019

NASA Coverage for Next Space Station Crew Launch, Docking
Houston TX (SPX) Mar 13 - Two American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut are set to join the crew aboard the International Space Station on Thursday, March 14. The trio's arrival will return the orbiting laboratory's population to six, including three NASA astronauts. This launch will also mark the fourth Expedition crew with two female astronauts. Live coverage will air on NASA Television and the agency's website. NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch, and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, are set to launch aboard the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft at 3:14 p.m. EDT (12:14 a.m. March 15 Kazakhstan time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a six-hour journey to the station.

The new crew members will dock to the Rassvet module at 9:07 p.m. Expedition 59 will begin officially at the time of docking. About two hours later, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open and the new residents will be greeted by NASA astronaut Anne McClain, station commander Oleg Kononenko of Roscosmos, and David Saint-Jacques of the Canadian Space Agency. The current three-person crew just welcomed the first American commercial crew vehicle as it docked to the station on March 3, amidst a busy schedule of scientific research and operations since arriving in December.
+ Check out the full NASA TV schedule and video streaming information here

Today, March 12, ILV Soyuz was rolled out from the processing facility to the launch pad. The medium launch vehicle Soyuz-FG integrated with the Crew Transportation spacecraft (CTS) Soyuz MS-12 is erected on the launch pad of Area No.1 ("Gagarin's launch pad") of the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Activities under the program of the first launch day have begun.

Specialists of RSC Energia and other leading companies of the rocket and space industry are performing final processing operations on the launch pad. Pre-launch tests are being run on systems and assemblies of the space launcher system, interfaces between the onboard hardware and ground support equipment are being checked out.

The launch of Soyuz MS-12 with the crew of the next expedition to the ISS is scheduled for March 14, 2019.

The main crew of ISS-59/60 consists of a Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch. Their backups are a Roscosmos cosmonaut Aleksandr Skvortsov, an ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, and a NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan.

Earlier on March 11, representatives of the technical management and the state commission at the Baikonur cosmodrome made a decision on the readiness of the space transportation system consisting of the crew transportation spacecraft (CTS) SoyuzMS-12 and launch vehicle (LV) Soyuz-FG to be rolled out and erected on the launch pad.

In the course of one day, specialists from RSC Energia and other leading companies in the rocket and space industry have successfully completed final sequence of operations to assemble the integrated launch vehicle.

Yesterday, the crew transportation spacecraft Soyuz MS-12 developed and built by RSC Energia was transported as a part of the upper composite to the site where it was integrated with the launch vehicle Soyuz-FG.

Separately on Monday, and in accordance with the pre-launch processing plan on March 10 the crews of the upcoming expedition to the ISS conducted the second "fit check" - a check inspection of the launch-ready spacecraft.

After a briefing, the main and the backup crews took their seats in the spacecraft, familiarized themselves with locations of the payloads and equipment in the descent vehicle and the orbital module, checked the operability of various systems, including communications system, in test mode.

The main crew of ISS-59/60 consists of a Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin and NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch. Their backups are a Roscosmos cosmonaut Aleksandr Skvortsov, an ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano, and a NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan.

After the check inspection the crews went to the assembly shop of the RSC Progress affiliate to inspect the launch vehicle Soyuz-FG, which is going to put the crew transportation spacecraft Soyuz MS-12 into orbit on March 14, 2019.

Then, following a pre-launch tradition, the crews visited the museum of the Baikonur Cosmodrome, left there their signatures, and then visited the houses where Y.A. Gagarin and S.P. Korolev stayed at Baikonur.

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ISS Multilateral Coordination Board Joint Statement
Washington DC (SPX) Mar 12, 2019
The International Space Station (ISS) Multilateral Coordination Board (MCB), which oversees the management of the ISS, met on March 5th, 2019. Its members[1] acknowledged the recent 20th anniversary of the launch of the first International Space Station module and celebrated the success of the ISS partnership. This international team has not only built the space station and risen to the challenges of its day-to-day dynamic operation, but - most importantly - delivered tangible benefits to humanity ... read more

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