Soyuz MS-17 crew orbits Ultrafast in two orbits at space station

October 14, 2020

– A US astronaut and two Russian astronauts have been expanding human existence for 20 consecutive years in orbit just before the International Space Station.

NASA’s Kate Rubins, along with Roskosmos’ Sergei Ryzykov and Sergei Good-Sverkov, launched Russia’s Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft from the Pygmy Cosmotrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday (Oct. 14). On top of the Soyuz-2.1A rocket, their launch began at 1:45 a.m. EDT (0545 GMT; 10:45 a.m. local Kazakh time).

All three crews are scheduled to dock at their Soyuz station’s Roswet block at 4:52 a.m. EDT (0852 GMT) after two orbital encounters. This task refers to the use of the first crew of the “Ultrafast” flight program, which will see Soyuz arrive at the space station within three hours of launch, rather than following the previous six-hour or two-day orbit.

“This two-lane junction has been designed for some time now and has been tested with progress [cargo] Vehicles, “Raishikov told a pre-release press conference on Tuesday.” We will reach the station sooner than we reach Pykonor coming out of Moscow. “

The launch pads of Rubins, Ryzykov and Good-Sverkov arrived two and a half weeks before the space station’s first crew took up residence on orbit. Expedition 1, a group of Americans and two Russians – William Shepherd, Yuri Lonsakov and Sergei Krigalev – began their stay on November 2, 2000.

“The 20th anniversary of the continuing human existence in space will be an event, and we look forward to having the three of us there at that time,” Rubins said. “I think the International Space Station is one of the most incredible engineering achievements in human history. It is, of course, one of the highest achievements in space travel. It is amazing to see such a giant machine built entirely by humans and flying off the surface.

At the space station since April, Rubins, Ryjikov and Good-Sverkov are waiting, along with NASA’s Expedition 63 commander Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos aeronautical engineers Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Wagner. The six crew members, Cassidy, Ivanishin and Wagner, will work together for seven days to return to Earth on a Soyuz MS-16, leaving Rubins, Ryzykov and Good-Sverkov to launch Expedition 64.

Under Raishiko’s command, Expedition 64 will be a three – person complement until SpaceX’s Crew 1 embarks on a journey with four astronauts. Michael Hopkins, Victor Clover and NASA’s Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Sochi Nokuchi are aiming to launch a dragon spacecraft in mid-November, which is a solution to landing a SpaceX on a spacecraft. Start on Oct. 2.

During their six-month trip, Rubins, Raishikov and Good-Sverkov will conduct hundreds of scientific experiments and technical demonstrations in various fields, including biology, biotechnology, physics and earth sciences.

“We plan to try some interesting things like bio-printing tissues and cells growing in space and, of course, we will continue our work on sequencing DNA,” Rubins said, becoming the first astronaut to sequence DNA in space in 2016.

The three vehicle occupants will oversee the arrival of several reusable spacecraft, including Progress Vehicles, SpaceX’s second generation Dragon cargo capsules and a Northrobe Groman Cygnus spacecraft. The trio may be at the station for the first docking of the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, which is under test flight at an early target in early 2021.

Ryzhikov and Good-Sverkov are to make space routes for the addition of the Jetson and Nauka (“Science”) multipurpose laboratory units of the Russian Birs docking box. The Birs module was first added to the space station in 2001.

For Rubins’ microbiologist, who lived in space for 115 days in 2016, Wednesday’s release marked a personal milestone: his 42nd birthday.

“I think this will never be an invincible birthday. Going to space on your birthday is so much fun,” Rubins said in an interview with Culbispace. Richard Truly on SDS-2 in 1981, Dale Gardner on SDS-51AV in 1984, Kent Roaminger on SDS-85 in 1997 and Soyuz DMA-6 in 2005 Is the fifth American astronaut to be launched on his birthday after John Phillips. .

Ryzykov, a 46-year-old Russian Air Force pilot, is on his second spaceflight, having previously worked with Rubins on Expedition 49 in 2016. Good-Sverkov, a 37-year-old space engineer, is engaged in his first mission.

The Soyuz MS-17 is Russia’s 63rd Soyuz spacecraft, launched for the International Space Station in 2000 and ranked 146th to fly since its first Soyuz mission in 1967. It is the 100th spacecraft to carry a crew to the space station, including the Soyuz MS-10. The plane was grounded in 2018.

Phil Schwartz

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