All set for blast-off

The Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft being transported to a launch pad at the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan yesterday.

The Russian spacecraft is scheduled to blast off tomorrow with the next batch of residents bound for the International Space Station (ISS). A three-man team - Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, British astronaut Tim Peake and US astronaut Tim Kopra - will make the six-hour trip to the ISS where they will live for six months. Major Peake will be the first British astronaut to live and work on the ISS.

The Soyuz craft will return with three crew members from the previous expedition.

The ISS has been occupied by astronauts from around the world since 2000, with crew rotations taking place a few times each year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 14, 2015, with the headline 'All set for blast-off'. Print Edition | Subscribe