New crew of astronauts launched from Kazakh cosmodrome
Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec. 22 / Trend E. Kosolapova/
Space rocket Soyuz-FG with Soyuz TMA-03M manned transport spacecraft was launched from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Dec. 21, Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos reported.
Spacecraft has an international staff, which includes Commander Oleg Kononenko (Roscosmos) and flight engineers Andre Cowper (European Space Agency) and Donald Pettit (NASA).
Soyuz TMA-03M separated from carrier rocket after 528 seconds of flight.
Docking of Soyuz TMA-03M manned transport spacecraft and the International Space Station is scheduled for Dec. 23
The Baikonur Cosmodrome is the world's first and largest operational space launch facility. It is located in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan. It is leased by the Kazakh government to Russia (currently until 2050) and is managed jointly by the Russian Federal Space Agency and the Russian Space Forces. Under the current Russian space program, Baikonur remains a busy space port, with numerous commercial, military and scientific missions being launched annually.