Tourist and crew ready for blast-off

The countdown is on for the next International Space Station crew who will blast off from the Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan in just three days’ time. Space tourist Richard Garriot has paid millions of dollars for the privilege of travelling alongside

The crew has already commissioned the spacecraft “Soyuz”, which is going on its 100th journey.

It has been sealed and will be opened at the launch pad on the morning [of departure],” a Baikonur source told Interfax.

All the members of the crew feel well and are undergoing constant medical checks. 

Mr Garriot paid $US 30 million to take part in the expedition. He will spend six days on board and is going to take part in different scientific experiments.

Garriot has ordered a copy of his space suit to give to his father, a former astronaut himself, who is going to see him off. The tourist's suit will bear the image of two flags – British and American. He is a US citizen but was born in the UK.

The space suits’ designs and colours have been picked up by members of the crew. The Kentavr-Nauka firm suggested that special clothes for cosmonauts be put on under their space suits before landing to protect them from gravity.

This is going to be the last time when a three-person crew travels to the space station. One of the expedition's tasks is to prepare the station for a six person crew.

The flight is scheduled for Sunday October 12 at 11:01am Moscow time.