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Russia set to launch Soyuz TMA ‘Gagarin’ spacecraft

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MOSCOW (BNS): Russia will begin commemorating the 50th anniversary of its legendary cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s first manned flight into space with the launch of a Soyuz spacecraft carrying three crew members to the International Space Station Tuesday.

The Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft, named Yuri Gagarin, is scheduled to lift off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2.18 am (local time) Tuesday. The spacecraft will dock with the ISS on Thursday.

The Soyuz capsule was originally scheduled for launch on March 30 but was put off due to technical problems.

The Federal space agency Roscosmos has cleared the way for cosmonauts Alexander Samokutyaeva and Andrei Borisenko and NASA astronaut Ronald Garan to travel to the space station as part of the expedition 27 crew on board the Soyuz Gagarin.

The spacecraft's launch will kick off celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's first manned flight to space on April 12, 1961.

The latest launch will be the 109th flight of the Soyuz space capsule.

The expedition 27 crew members will join cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratiev, ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli and NASA's Catherine Colman at the ISS. During their five-month stint, the crew members will conduct over 40 scientific experiments in the orbital laboratory.

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Soyuz  ISS  
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