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Roscosmos prepares to launch first manned Soyuz MS
by Staff Writers
Moscow (Sputnik) Jan 15, 2016

File image.

Russian Roscosmos state corporation announced in a statement Thursday the start of preparations to the launch of Soyuz-FG carrier rocket from the Baikonur space center, which will put into orbit the first manned spacecraft of a new Soyuz MS series.

According to the statement, preparation to the assembling of the first two stages of the carrier rocket has begun. At the same time, the specialists have started tests of Soyuz-FG's blocks.

The first manned launch of Soyuz MS spacecraft is scheduled on June 21, 2016. The Soyuz crew comprises Russia's cosmonaut Anatoli Ivanishin, Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi and NASA's astronaut Kathleen Rubins. Russia's Oleg Novitskiy, Thomas Pesquet from the European Space Agency and NASA's Peggy Whitson are the backup crew of this flight.

The first launch of Soyuz MS will be one of the four manned launches from Baikonur to the International Space Station (ISS) in 2016. Three other launches are expected to take place on March 19, September 23 and November 16. While cargo vessels within the ISS program are due to be launched on March 31, July 4 and October 20.

earlier report Russia to Launch 4Manned, 3 Cargo Spacecraft to ISS in 2016

Russia will carry out the launches of four manned and three cargo spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan within the International Space Station (ISS)'s program in 2016, Russian state corporation Roscosmos said Thursday.

"Four manned and three cargo launches from Baikonur are scheduled for 2016 under the program of the International Space Station," Roscosmos wrote on Facebook.

The launches of manned spaceships are slated for March 19, June 21, September 23 and November 16, respectively, Roscosmos said in a statement.

Cargo vessels are due to be launched on March 31, July 4 and October 20, the statement added.

Source: Sputnik News

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