Published: Sat, January 16, 2021
Science | By

Latest Soyuz Launch Safely Delivered The ISS Crew In Record 3 Hours

A new crew of three astronauts was launched late tonight on the International Space Station, launching a Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan.

The emergence of private players SpaceX and Boeing - part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program - has fuelled talk of a new "space race" between a number of countries.

A manned Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft carrying three crew members launched from Site No. 41 of the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan at 8:45 a.m. Moscow time.

Journeys to the ISS usually take around six hours - a vast improvement on the two-day flights before 2013. This has to do with the relative orbits of the launch spacecraft and the ISS, as well as their takeoff point from Earth.

As for the mission of the manned space-flight, the crew members are supposed to bring additional equipment to the ISS to detect an air leak onboard, which persisted since September 2019.

NASA and Roscosmos have committed to continue the flight-sharing partnership and are in talks to fly Russian astronauts on USA vehicles and to fly US astronauts on Russian rockets when needed, a spokesperson for Roscosmos told Reuters.

Roscosmos has had the job of ferrying United States astronauts to the ISS since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011. Just an uncrewed Progress freight space transport has recently utilized this profile which requires only two circles before docking. Docking will take place around 4:52 AM on Wednesday, and the crew must board the ISS within 2 hours. NASA described the purchase as an insurance policy of sorts, ensuring "the agency keeps its commitment for safe operations via a continuous US presence" as commercial crew vehicles finally enter service. The rocketship is on its way to the International Space Station.

"We have an incredible partnership", Rubins said in an interview from Russia's Star City before her flight.

"We're planning to try some really interesting things like bio-printing tissues and growing cells in space and, of course, continuing our work on sequencing DNA", Rubins said. Severe precautionary measures, including more tight quarantine and cover wearing before launch, have been taken due to the Covid pandemic however the astronauts and space authorities dismissed any worries about a danger of contamination on the ISS.

Ryzhikov, a 46-year-old previous military pilot, has gone through 173 days in space contrasted with Rubins' 115 while Kud-Sverchkov, 37, is flying unexpectedly.

On the eve of the launch, Ryzhikov expressed sadness over ongoing fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and said he hoped the example of the ISS could help "spread love, friendship and comradeship". The proposed new station "is too US-driven" Rogozin said.

Soyuz Rocket unfolds toward the pad. The two astronauts on board were not hurt.

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