Originally, three Russian astronauts were to travel, but at the request of NASA, the Russian company Roscosmos assigned one seat to the Americans.
For the occasion, the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos christened a spacecraft named after the first astronaut Yuri Gagarin, who was the first man to fly into space in 60 years, on April 12, 1961.
After two Earth orbits
“After 529.5 seconds, at 9:51:30 CST, the Soyuz spacecraft will be separated into orbit. Soyuz will join the International Space Station after only two orbits around the Earth,” said astronaut and astronomer Michel Vaclavik of the Space Agency Czech Republic on Twitter before the launch, which also works at the Institute of Aircraft Technology, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Czech Republic. Technical University of Prague.
The Rassvet station unit was finally contacted at 13:05 our time, two minutes earlier than planned. “After the necessary examination, the manhole will open at 3:00 pm and the three-member crew will board the plane,” Vaclavik added.
And the Associated Press indicated that the task of the new members of the crew of the orbital complex will be to work on hundreds of experiments in the fields of biology, biotechnology, physics or earth sciences. This is Novick’s third assignment, the second by Vande Heie and the first by Dubrov.
Along with the new people, about 170 kg of cargo were transferred to the International Space Station. Prior to this arrival, a crew of seven American, Russian and Japanese members worked on the International Space Station, so there will now be a total of 10 people.
A moment ago, Soyuz MS-18 took off from Baikonur, which will join in 3 hours @ Space Station. The station crew, specifically Soichi Noguchi, captured this start beautifully from the deck of the ship 🚀 https://t.co/ey1Kah4aeU
– Michel Vaclavik (@Kosmo_Michal) April 9, 2021
Illustrative photo of the new International Space Station crew members
Photo: Twitter ISS