The head of Russia’s space agency in Moscow has declared that a damaged Soyuz space craft has been repaired and is ready for lift-off.
The craft had suffered from rough handling during transportation to the launch pad but is now apparently safe to go.
The reassurances were made during the now traditional tea-drinking get together between astronauts and Roscosmos personnel
NASA’s Catherine Coleman appeared unphased by the last minute repairs: “ I have every confidence. And in all space programmes we have to realise that we fly with risk, it is not a safe thing that we do.”
Coleman will blast off with her two Russian colleagues from Baikonur on December 15 to the International Space station. Soyuz spacecraft will be the only link to the ISS after the planned retirement of the US shuttle fleet next year.