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‘I see your rocket from space!’ Russian ISS cosmonaut waves via Twitter to crew expected to arrive on fastest-ever Soyuz flight

‘I see your rocket from space!’ Russian ISS cosmonaut waves via Twitter to crew expected to arrive on fastest-ever Soyuz flight
Ivan Vagner, a member of the Expedition 63 crew aboard the International Space Station, has tweeted a high-altitude shot of the flight-ready Soyuz rocket which is set to send a crew of three into space on Wednesday.

Vagner, who has spent months on board the International Space Station, was able to spot the Soyuz spacecraft on a launching pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, hours before it is due to lift off and carry Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, plus NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins, to the International Space Station (ISS).

“Hey, @KudSverchkov – I see your rocket from space!” Vagner tweeted from the ISS, uploading a high-altitude image of the cosmodrome surrounded by Kazakhstan's steppes.

The ISS cosmonaut said members of the current Expedition 63 are preparing to welcome “two Sergeys and Kate here” on Wednesday morning.

On Sunday, Russian space agency Roscosmos revealed images of the Soyuz-2.1a rocket and the Soyuz MS-17 crew ship being towed out of the assembly hall at Baikonur. The engineers have placed the rocket on a launching pad, commencing final checks of all systems.

The inbound reinforcement crew will use an expedited trajectory to reach the station. Normally, manned missions' flight plans include four orbits before docking to the ISS, which takes roughly six hours after liftoff.

This time, however, the Soyuz MS-17 capsule carrying the trio will make just two orbits and arrive for a rendezvous with the space station in a little over three hours.

Also on rt.com Faster than a Moscow-London flight! Russian Soyuz prepares QUICKEST-EVER crewed trip to International Space Station (PHOTOS)

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