Soyuz crew to blast off and mark 60 years of spaceflight

Almaty (Kazakhstan) (AFP) – A three-man crew will blast off to the International Space Station on Friday in a capsule honouring the 60th anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becoming the first person in space. Reminders of Gagarin’s achievement were everywhere at the Russia-operated Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan as Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei prepared for their half-year mission aboard the orbital lab. The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft that the trio take off in at 0742 GMT has been named after the legendary cosmonaut and Gagarin’s …

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