Soyuz Moved to Pad for Thursday Launch to Station

The Soyuz spacecraft that will carry three new Expedition 25 flight engineers to the International Space Station was rolled out to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday. NASA astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri and Oleg Skripochka will launch aboard the new Soyuz TMA-01M Thursday at 7:10 p.m. EDT (Friday, Kazakhstan time) and begin a five-month tour of duty aboard the station after docking to the Poisk module Saturday evening.

Meanwhile, the three Expedition 25 crew members already living and working aboard the station conducted a depressurization drill, collected data for science research and prepared for the installation of a device to produce water.

Commander Doug Wheelock began his workday early by participating in the Pro K experiment, which studies dietary countermeasures to lessen the bone loss experienced by astronauts during long-duration spaceflight. With assistance from Flight Engineer Shannon Walker, Wheelock collected a blood sample and stored it in the Minus Eighty-Degree Laboratory Freezer for ISS for study later by scientists back on Earth.