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NASA astronauts prepare to launch space station next month



Nick Heig and Christina Koch are a little busy: NASA astronauts and their Russian counterpart will board a capsule in just three weeks Soyuz will explode from the start-up ground in Kazakhstan and make their way International Space Station for a six-month stay.

The three-man crew just finished their final exams, a mandatory set of tests to ensure that astronauts are prepared for their flight and everything they can

All astronauts know that something can always go wrong, but the Hague more than most; he and the veteran Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin were hung in a capsule on the top of the Soyuz rocket on Oct. 11 last year when an anomaly with a booster caused the interruption of the release. The Hague and Ovchinin were unharmed during their half-hour journey to the Earth, thanks to their exhaustive training.

The couple will take the second stroke of a space flight, accompanied by Koch, on March 1

4, with a cosmic blast Baikonur in Kazakhstan, scheduled for 15:14 EDT (1914 GMT)

The Hague could not come soon enough. "I'm ready to launch in space," Hag told Space.com. "My normal start experience stops about 2 minutes after the start so I'm excited about the 204 days that will follow these 2 minutes." From the start of the failure, The Hague focuses on training for the new mission and spends time with his family, who were in Kazakhstan in October for the start, which failed. "There's also plenty of time to really do whatever happens to the family, and that's important," Hag said. "We do not just explore the space, not just the crew goes there, we have a huge team on the ground that supports us, but even more important than that is the family that supports us while we're ready." there, and they make sacrifices. "

The American crew of The Hague, Koch, will be released for the first time next month and is also struggling. "For more than five years I've been on a flight and I'm only ready to finally get all the training to work, hope to make the people who train me, and contribute, to return to this program that I've held so much high because I was very young, "she told Space.com.

Although it will be the first launch, she has many colleagues to rely on during her last weeks of preparation. "Many of the tips come from my friends who are already in orbit, and we assure and share with each other all the little tricks of the trade you learn when you're in space," Koch said, pointing to NASA. astronaut training classmate Ann McClane who arrived at the Orbital Laboratory in December.

The Hague and the six months in Kosh will include several important stages. Forbidding further launch delays, untied test flights to crew crews of SpaceX and Boeing should arrive at the station during this mission. This summer we will also see the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing which both astronauts are eagerly waiting for. We are all very excited and celebrated that we will have the opportunity to celebrate this unbelievable event while we are in space, "Koch said. "We definitely intend to mark it as a crew and share it as much as possible."

Email Megan Bartles of mbartels@space.com or follow her @ meghanbartels [19659018]. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook .


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