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Preparations For Space Launch Delayed By Winds

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) - Powerful winds have caused delays in hoisting a Russian-built rocket bound for the international space station onto its launch pad at Baikonur.

The Soyuz TMA-15 spacecraft is to lift off from the Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan Wednesday, and that schedule was not changed by Monday's problem. The mission will double the number of permanent crew at the International Space Station to six, marking a landmark advance in human presence in space.

A slow-moving cargo train delivering the booster to the launch site was buffeted by unseasonably heavy winds Monday, resulting in an eight-hour delay in putting the craft into an upright position.

The three-man Soyuz crew is Canadian astronaut Bob Thirsk, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, and Belgium's Frank De Winne.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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