Photography by Bill Ingalls

Monday, July 4th, 2016 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in the desert steppe of Kazakhstan, the Soyuz MS-01 was rolled out and raised to vertical in advance of the July 7th launch to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz MS-01 was rolled out by train on July 4th to “Gagarin’s Start”, where Yuri Gagarin first launched into space aboard Vostok 1 in 1961.

This modified Soyuz is the first iteration in a spacecraft that includes many new upgrades, some of which include:

  • upgraded thrusters (fully redundant)
  • additional micrometeoroid debris shielding
  • redundant electrical motors for the Soyuz’ docking probe
  • increased power via additional photovoltaic cells on the Soyuz’ solar arrays
  • new digital video transmitter/encoder to transfer video of the approach to ISS
  • new relay telemetry capability
  • upgraded Kurs automated rendezvous antenna
  • improved satellite navigation system to better calculate the Soyuz’ position in space.

Usually when crews launch aboard Soyuz to the International Space Station, they take an accelerated trek to station via a 4 orbit/6-hour maneuver sequence. While fully redundant, due to the number of upgrades on this MS-01 ship, the Expedition 48 crew will be taking a longer 34-orbit / 2-day journey to the ISS.

The Expedition 48 crew includes:

  • Soyuz Commander/Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos (center seat)
  • Flight Engineer Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (left seat)
  • Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA (right seat)

While on this 2-day journey to Station, the crew will be testing many of the new Soyuz-MS upgrades. This testing and verification mission is the first of at least 2 that will be utilized to ensure the new upgrades are working nominally.

Launch is scheduled for July 7th, 2016 at 7:36 AM Baikonur time. Here are a few popular conversions below for launch time:

6:36 PM PDT (Los Angeles) [July 6th]

7:36 PM MT (Denver) [July 6th]

8:36 PM CDT (Chicago) [July 6th]

9:36 PM EDT (New York) [July 6th]

2:36 AM BST (London) [July 7th]

Here are a few more photos taken at rollout by NASA’s Head Contract Photographer, Bill Ingalls:

Expedition 48 Soyuz Rollout (NHQ201607040130)

Expedition 48 Soyuz Rollout (NHQ201607040125)

Expedition 48 Soyuz Rollout (NHQ201607040114)

Expedition 48 Soyuz Rollout (NHQ201607040112)

Expedition 48 Soyuz Rollout (NHQ201607040103)

Expedition 48 Soyuz Rollout (NHQ201607040135)

Expedition 48 Prelaunch (NHQ201607020004)

NASA Astronaut Kate Rubins:

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Soyuz Service Platform Timelapse:

Follow Kate’s journey on Twitter for more

@NASA_Astronauts on Twitter🚀

and find the current crew’s photography on social media:

NASA Astronaut Jeff Williams on Instagram🚀

Story via BLOGS.NASA.GOV

Photography by Bill Ingalls

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