Fragile Oasis

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Agat and the Business End

We got to go into the Soyuz spacecraft one last time to check it out, to see where our stuff is stowed, and to make sure everything is where we want it. “Agat” is beautiful! I refer to her as Agat since that is Yuri Malenchenko's call sign.

If you watch the launch on NASA TV you will most likely hear his call sign on the radio. Yuri is Agat 1, I am Agat 2 and Aki (Akihiko Hoshide) is Agat 3. Right now the capsule (and covering) is not mated to the booster and she is standing upright. They will turn her on her side to be moved and mated.

Photo credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

This is “our” booster – the business end! You can see it is on it’s side, and is ready for the capsule. The entire stack will stay on its side and be “rolled out” to the launch pad on Thursday!

Photo credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

Editor's note: NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Aki Hoshide and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in their Soyuz TMA-05M spacecraft July 14 and dock to the International Space Station on July 17. They will join Commander Gennady Padalka Sergei Revin and Joe Acaba, who have been living and working on board the orbiting scientific laboratory since May 17th.