Russia will launch on Monday, the three astronauts to the International Space Station. Moscow hopes that this mission will restore confidence in the space program, whose reputation could suffer after an unprecedented series of problems.
Two Russians and one American will go from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on a Soyuz-FG rocket, which will be the first manned flight of the shuttle program after the close of the United States. Thus, Russia is the only country that is able to deliver the person to the ISS.
In addition, this is the first launch after an unmanned Progress cargo ship crashed in Siberia shortly after launch from Baikonur in August. Tu disaster blamed on account of technical failure, which resulted in the revision of the schedule of future missions to the ISS and the temporary stop launches Soyuz carrier rockets, which for decades were the basis of the Russian space program.
Russia hopes that the success of the mission will smooth out a series of failed launches, the latest of which was the Phobos-Grunt, who did not start the engine and which were lost.
American Dan Burbank and Russians Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin will travel to the ISS on Soyuz TMA-22. They will join those already in there American Mike Fossum, Japanese Satoshi Furukawa and Russia’s Sergei Volkov.
Originally scheduled for launch on 22 September, but was delayed by almost two months due to an incident with a cargo spacecraft Progress, which in-orbit delivery carrier rocket "Soyuz-U".
Previous manned launch from Baikonur was in September and the problems encountered were a big disappointment for Russia in the year of the 50th anniversary since the launch of the first man in space, which occurred in the same historic cosmodrome.
In addition to the Progress and possibly Phobos-Grunt, Russia has lost three navigation satellites, an advanced military satellite and a telecommunications satellite due to launch failures over the last year.
"The large number of failures in the Russian space program arose because of the human factor - the errors in programming, calculations and design oversights," - said an anonymous source.