Ready for Launch

Astronauts Yelena Serova, Aleksandr Samokutyayev and Barry Wilmore stand in front of the Soyuz rocket that will bring them to the International Space Station. Today the rocket was rolled out to the launch platform.

Launch is set for Thursday September 25 on 4:25 p.m. EDT (22:25 CEST). The launch will be broadcasted live at several channels, such as NASA TV and spaceflight101live .

NASA TV will start its broadcast at 3:30 pm EDT and docking coverage will start at 9:45 pm EDT.

Godspeed, for those flying to humanities frontier.

Image source: NASA/Victor Zelentsov

Russian female cosmonaut gets angry at 'hair' question in space press conference

Yelena Serova, the first Russian woman to go to the International Space Station, gets visibly annoyed when she is asked about make-up and hair at a pre-flight press conference.

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Watch: Female Russian cosmonaut is a boss, shuts down sexist reporter 

"Can you tell me more about your everyday life on the station? How are you planning to do your hair?"

That was an actual question asked of Yelena Serova at press conference about her upcoming trip to the ISS. Apparently only female cosmonauts can be asked about their hair and grooming routines, even if they’re about to make history.   

Her answer is amazing | Follow micdotcom

The International Space Station Welcomes its First Female Cosmonaut

She’s the first woman cosmonaut on the ISS, and she doesn’t put up with silly questions about hair and makeup. Watch her shut down some foolish reporters, and get to know her a little better, at:

#276 Because of Yelena Serova.

Last week Russia sent a woman into space for the first time in 17 years as part of a U.S-Russian mission to the International Space Station. Being chosen as part of the crew for a space expedition is quite an accomplishment. It’s a job which asks for years of training, excellent skills and the trust and respect of your peers. One would imagine that the international press would have a hundred questions to ask Yelena  Serova about her work. But at the pre-launch press conference, Serova was questioned about:

- her hair.

- her makeup.

- her daughter.

Serova's response:

“Can I ask a question, too: aren’t you interested in the hair styles of my colleagues?”

According to the BBC, this is not the first time Serova has faced such questions.


Just as NASA has the Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, Roscosmos has the Hydro Laboratory in Star city’s Yuri Cosmonaut Gagarin Training Center. The above pictures are from a training of Yelena Serova. The Russians train with their own Orlan suits, with added buoyancy blocks on the legs and helmet.

Source: RIA Novosti / Ruslan Krivobok


Today is International Women’s Day! Despite having the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova in 1963, Russia has only sent two other women into space. Svetlana Savitskaya made a trip to Salyut 7 in 1982 and became the first woman to perform a spacewalk in 1984. Yelena Kondakova was the first woman to be part of a long-duration mission on Mir in 1994. These were just those that made it into space, there were many other women selected.

Yelena Serova and Anna Kikina are part of the active group of cosmonauts. Serova will be part of ISS expeditions 41 and 42 starting in Sept 2014. Kikina is new, she was selected in Oct 2012 and is in basic training for the next two years.

Expedition 41 launches to the International Space Station today! The three-member crew blasts off at 4:25 PM EST from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. This flight also marks the first time a female cosmonaut has been assigned a tour of duty on the orbiting outpost since habitation began in 2000. Numerous female American astronauts have been assigned, even commanded, the ISS, but Elena Serova is the first from Russia. Six hours after launch, at around 10:15 PM EST, the Soyuz TMA-14M spacecraft is scheduled to dock to the station.

The three-man spacecraft brings the final members of Expedition 41, which officially on September 10 when the final members of Expedition 40 returned to Earth.

Watch it live here.

The image above is a view of the Soyuz launch vehicle that will carry the crew to orbit.