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Russian cosmonauts, NASA astronaut launch to the space station

Russian space company Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei will launch to the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday.

The launch, docking and arrival of the new crew on the space station will air reside on NASA’s TV channel and website. Launch is predicted at 3:42 a.m. ET.

The crew will dock to the station at 7:07 a.m. ET, and the hatches between the Soyuz spacecraft and the station will open round 9 a.m. ET.

This speedy journey to the space station, which incorporates two orbits of Earth and about three hours of journey time, is courtesy of the new Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft.

Their arrival will carry the complete variety of crew members on the station to 10 residents.

Astronauts on the space station have ready for the new crew by establishing additional sleep stations and releasing up ports.

Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, together with NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, just lately relocated the Soyuz MS-17 capsule from its port to make room for the newest crew launching from Baikonur.

Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins arrived on the space station in the Soyuz capsule after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in October.

The Soyuz spacecraft can be seen during flight in the middle of this image.

The crew members moved their spacecraft from the Rassvet module, which has an Earth-facing port, and relocated it to the Poisk docking port, which faces space, in March. This freed up the Rassvet module port for the new crew and their Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft.

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Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov will return to Earth in the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft on April 17.

Members of the historic NASA-SpaceX Crew-1, together with NASA astronauts Victor Glover Jr., Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who launched from the US to the space station in November, may even return after the launch of Crew-2 subsequent month.

This second rotation utilizing the NASA-SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will embrace NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas  Pesquet.

Crew-2, which may launch April 22, will be a part of Crew-1 on the space station earlier than Crew-1 returns to Earth.

This is the second spaceflight for Vande Hei, the third spaceflight Novitskiy and the first for Dubrov.

Vande Hei was chosen as an astronaut in 2009 and had his first spaceflight expertise on the space station from September 2017 to February 2018. During his 168 days aboard the station, Vande Hei performed 4 spacewalks. This time round, Vande Hei and the crew will work on a number of experiments, together with research about Alzheimer’s illness and transportable ultrasound units.

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Vande Hei’s flight on the Soyuz spacecraft is a part of a contract with Axiom Space of Houston. In return, NASA will basically save a seat on a future business spacecraft launch in 2023 for a non-NASA space station crew member.

While NASA works with Boeing and SpaceX to guarantee secure crew transport to and from the space station utilizing US-based launches, grabbing one seat on the Soyuz implies that there’ll at all times be at the least one US crew member on the space station.

Their launch happens simply three days earlier than the sixtieth anniversary of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s launch as the first human in space, in addition to the fortieth anniversary of the first launch of NASA’s space shuttle.

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