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8 Apr, 2008 06:05

Soyuz set for space odyssey

Excitement is building ahead of Russia’s latest mission to space. The Soyuz rocket is positioned for lift-off in Kazakhstan, technical tests are over and the three cosmonauts are getting final instructions. The 17th mission to the ISS will blast off at 3.

The cosmonauts – Flight Commander Sergey Volkov, Flight Engineer Oleg Kononenko, and South Korea’s first person in space, Yi So-yeon – have now been suited and booted. Then they went out to see state officials to confirm their complete readiness for the flight.

The Soyuz rocket has been fuelled and undergone last-minute checks.

The crew will be taking with them mementoes from home, such as photos, letters and mascots. But they say they won’t open them before reaching the International Space Station.

The cosmonauts will have to perform more than 45 experiments in the 198 days on the ISS. They will also have to conduct maintenance work at the station.

Watch the launch LIVE on RT’s 24-hour news channel. Coverage starts at 3pm