World News – United States – NASA astronaut prepares to launch Russian rocket as United States switches to private spacecraft


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Update Oct. 14 at 2:20 a.m. ET: Soyuz rocket took off successfully at 1:45 a.m. ET and astronauts are now in orbit safely, according to NASA

Original story: A new crew of three astronauts will launch to the International Space Station late at night, taking off on a Russian Soyuz rocket out of Kazakhstan The trio are heading to the station about a month before the Dragon’s next launch with SpaceX crew, who will bring another group of four astronauts aboard the ISS in mid-November

On board this Soyuz flight, two Russian cosmonauts – Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov – and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, on her second trip to space The trio will join three crew members who live on the ISS since April: Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy However, their way of life will not last long Cassidy and her fellow cosmonauts are expected to return to Earth on October 21, at inside the Soyuz capsule that brought them to the space station

A few weeks later, in early to mid-November, Rubins and his team are set to welcome the four crew members of SpaceX’s first operational Crew Dragon mission, called Crew-1 This flight will transport three NASA astronauts – Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker – and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi to the ISS for a six-month stay Their arrival on SpaceX’s new passenger vehicle will bring the total ISS population to seven – a larger-than-usual cohort for the ISS, which has typically hosted crews of six since the end of the ISS program. spaceship

Rubins’ flight on the Soyuz comes amid a period of transition in NASA’s manned flight program Since the last space shuttle flight in 2011, the only way for NASA astronauts to be get to the station was the Russian Soyuz rocket But as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew program, two private companies – SpaceX and Boeing – have developed their own space capsules to take NASA astronauts to and from the space station. In May, SpaceX demonstrated that its Crew Dragon spacecraft can safely transport astronauts to and from the station when it delivered two NASA crew members to the ISS. Boeing’s first crewed test flight is currently scheduled for next year

SpaceX and Boeing vehicles were supposed to be ready as early as 2017, but their development programs suffered from years of delays.Meanwhile, NASA continued to buy seats on Russia’s Soyuz for American astronauts – at around $ 80 million per person – although the agency tried to limit the amount, hoping that commercial crew vehicles would go live soon NASA had hoped they would be ready last year, but when further delays seemed imminent, the space agency bought a final Soyuz seat – the one Rubins will use early tomorrow morning

In the future, NASA hopes to be able to negotiate seat swaps with Roscosmos, where Russian cosmonauts will ride on SpaceX and Boeing vehicles in exchange for NASA astronauts flying on the Soyuz However, NASA did none of these exchanges announced yet, so it’s unclear when the next American astronaut will fly on the Soyuz after this mission

The Soyuz is expected to take off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:45 am ET on Wednesday morning It will be a quick trip to the ISS The Soyuz capsule will only orbit Earth twice, spending three hours in space before docking with the International Space Station Docking is scheduled for Wednesday around 4:52 a.m.ET and the crew is expected to be aboard the ISS less than two hours later

NASA’s launch coverage will begin at 12:45 a.m. ET, so if you wake up late (or early), tune in to watch the Soyuz launch live

International Space Station, Astronaut, Kathleen Rubins, Soyuz, NASA Astronaut Corps, Roscosmos, Sergey Ryzhikov, SpaceX

News from the World – United States – The Astronaut from NASA to launch Russian rocket as US transitions to private spacecraft



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