Russia's Soyuz Spacecraft Looks Fantastic as It Prepares to Launch

Illustration for article titled Russia's Soyuz Spacecraft Looks Fantastic as It Prepares to Launch

Looking like something straight out of a movie, this picture shows the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft as it was moved by train to its launchpad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan yesterday.

The spacecraft is scheduled to launch on March 28th Kazakh time (which will be March 27th Eastern time). It will be taking NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly, and Russian Cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos, to the International Space Station for a whole year. Check out the full image below.[NASA]

Illustration for article titled Russia's Soyuz Spacecraft Looks Fantastic as It Prepares to Launch
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Image by NASA/Bill Ingalls

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DISCUSSION

andym-s
Andy "What?" M-S

Technically, that's the back end of the Soyuz booster (aka "rocket") you're looking at, which is, say it loud and proud, a damn cool looking vehicle. The four strap-ons and the central sustainer have been in use in one form or another since the USSR put Sputnik up. When I first saw photos of Vostok 1 in the late '60s or early '70s, my reaction was "Why don't we have one of those??" Ultimately, that question was answered by the N-1. But I digress.

The Soyuz spacecraft is a little different, Equally awesome-looking, but in a different way: