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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Astronauts Prepare for Lift-Off

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan — Technicians at the Russian-leased space center in Kazakhstan hoisted a rocket onto its launch pad ahead of Friday's blastoff of a NASA astronaut and two cosmonauts to the International Space Station.

NASA's Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko are to blast off at 10:04 a.m. Friday for their six-month mission in the orbiting science lab.

Workers at the craft's storage hangar slid open the gate just before daybreak Wednesday and mounted the Soyuz rocket on a flatbed train for a slow trip to the launch site.

NASA spokesman Rob Navias said one of the upcoming expedition's main objectives will be to install additional research equipment and expand science capability on the station.

(AP)