Russia’s Soyuz rocket emerged from its assembly hall in the dark of night and rolled through banks of early morning fog on March 19, 2018 to be placed atop the Baikonur Cosmodrome’s Site 1/5 launch pad in preparation for liftoff with an all-veteran ISS crew on a half-year mission. Carrying the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft under its payload shroud, the 50-meter tall Soyuz is working toward a nighttime liftoff on March 21 to send the seven-metric-ton vehicle on a two-day rendezvous with the International Space Station.
Soyuz MS-08, flying under the call sign Hawaii, will be crewed by commander Oleg Artemyev, embarking on his second long-duration flight, and NASA Space Shuttle veterans Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, gearing up for their first long-duration stint on ISS. Preparations are continuing on track for launch at 17:44:25 UTC on Wednesday when Soyuz will begin its nine-minute ride to boost Soyuz MS-08 into a 200-Kilometer orbit for a two-day link-up with the Space Station – targeting docking at 19:41 UTC on Friday.
All Photos below: Roscosmos
All Photos below: NASA