Soyuz MS-17 crew launches space station with ‘ultrafast’ dual-orbit flight

October 14, 2020

– An American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts have launched a 20-year human presence in Earth orbit and launched the International Space Station.

Russia’s Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft, along with NASA’s Kate Rubins, Sergey Ryazikov and Roscosmos’ Sergei Kud-Sverkov, took off from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmotrom on Wednesday (Oct. 14). Their launch, at the top of the Soyuz-2.1A rocket, began at 1:45 a.m. EDT (0545 GMT; 10:45 a.m. local Kazakh time).

The three crumbs meet their Soyuz on the station’s Rasvet module at 5:55 a.m. EDT (0852 GMT) after a two-orbit. The mission marks the first crew use of the “ultrafast” flight plan, which will see Soyuz arrive at the space station within three hours of its launch, instead of following the previously fast six-hour track or two-day route.

“This two-orbit device has been modeled for some time now. It has been tested with progress. [cargo] Vehicles, “Ryazikov said at a pre-launch press conference on Tuesday.” We will arrive at the station much sooner than we reached Bikonur coming out of Moscow. “

The unveiling of Rubins, Ryzykov and Kud-Sverkokov takes place in the orbital complex in the first week of the space station’s first crew’s 20th anniversary. Expedition 1 Crew, led by an American and two Russians – William Shepard, Yuri Lonchakov and Sergei Krikalev – began their stay on November 2, 2000.

“The 20th anniversary of the continued human presence in space is becoming quite an event and I think the three of us are looking forward to being there in the meantime,” Rubins said. “I think the International Space Station is one of the most incredible engineering achievements in human history and it certainly weighs a lot on astronaut achievements. It’s amazing to see such a huge machine that was built entirely by humans and flew over the surface. Even after 20 years, the earth remains in space. “

Ravens, Ryzykov and Kud-Sverkov have been aboard the space station since April, waiting for NASA mission 63 commanders Chris K. C. Sidi and Roscosmos flight engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Evan Wagner. The six crew members will serve seven days together to launch Expedition 64, leaving Rubins, Ryzykov and Kud-Sverkov before Sassi Day Cassidy, Ivanishin and Wagner Soyuz return to Earth on MS-16.

Expedition 64, under the command of Ryzykov, will be complemented by three people until the start of SpaceX’s Crew-1 mission with four astronauts. Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shenan Waker are aiming to land NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JXA) astronaut Sochi Noguchi in mid-November on the Dragon spacecraft, which is headed for a resolution to the engine issue. Launched October 2.

During their six-month mission, Rubins, Ryzykov and Kud-Sverkokov will demonstrate hundreds of science experiments and technologies in a variety of fields, including biology, biotechnology, physical and earth sciences.

“We’re considering some really interesting things like by-printing tissues and cells growing in space, and, of course, continuing our work on DNA sequencing,” said Rubins, who became the first astronaut for DNA sequences in space in 2016. .

Residents of the three stations will also oversee the arrival of several modified spacecraft, including Progress vehicles, SpaceX’s second-generation Dragon Cargo capsules, and the Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft. The trio could also be at the station for the first docking by the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, which could be inaugurated on an orbital flight test, which is targeted for early 2021.

Ryzykov and Kud-Sverkov were preparing to do a spacewalk in preparation for the addition of the Jettison and Naval (“Science”) multipurpose laboratory module in the Russian Pierce King compartment. The Piras module was first added to the space station in 2001.

For Rubins, a microbiologist who lived 115 days on the space station in 2016, had personal goals in Wednesday’s launch: his 42nd birthday.

“I think this is going to be a birthday I’ll never be able to beat. It’s so funny to go into space on your birthday,” Rubin said in an interview with Collect Space. She is the fifth American astronaut after Richard Truly on STS-2 in 1981, Dale Gardner on STS-5A in 1984, Kent Roaminger on STS-85 in 1997 and John Phillips on Soyuz TMA-6 in 2005. .

The 46-year-old Russian Air Force pilot Ryazikov is also on a second spaceflight, having previously served on Expedition 49 with Rubins in 2016. Kud-Sverkov, a 37-year-old aerospace engineer, is on his first mission.

The Soyuz MS-117 is Russia’s rd 63rd Soyuz spacecraft, launched for the International Space Station since 2000 and will fly 146th since the first Soyuz mission in 1967. It is the 100th spacecraft to launch a crew to the space station, including the Soyuz MS-10. In-flight abort in 2018.