A trio of space travelers have successfully launched to the International Space Station, for the first time using a fast-track maneuver to reach the orbiting outpost in just three hours
NASA’s Kate Rubins with Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Russian space agency Roscosmos took off as scheduled Wednesday morning from the Russia-leased Baikonur space launch facility in Kazakhstan for a six-month stay on the station
For the first time ever, they attempt a two-orbit, three-hour approach to the orbiting space outpost Previously, crews took twice as long to reach the station
They will join NASA station commander Chris Cassidy and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who have been on board the complex since April and are expected to return to Earth within a week.
Speaking at the pre-launch press conference on Tuesday in Baikonur, Rubins pointed out that the crew had spent weeks in quarantine at the Star City training center outside Moscow and then in Baikonur to avoid any threat of coronavirus
“We spent two weeks in Star City, then 17 days in Baikonur in a very strict quarantine,” said Rubins “During all communication with the crew members, we wore masks. We did tests PCR twice and we also did rapid antigen tests three times «
« We are planning to try some really interesting things like bioprinting tissue and growing cells in space and of course continuing our work on DNA sequencing, » said Rubins
Ryzhikov, who will be the skipper of the station, said the crew will try to pinpoint the exact location of a leak in the Russian section of a station that has slowly leaked oxygen The small leak did not pose any immediate danger to the crew
« We will take additional equipment with us that will allow us to more precisely detect the location of this leak, » he told reporters « We will also take with us additional improved airtight material that will help repair the leak »
In November, Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov are set to host NASA SpaceX’s first operational Crew Dragon mission, bringing in NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and the astronaut from Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Soichi Noguchi to the space station aboard the Crew Dragon vehicle It follows a successful Demo-2 mission earlier this year
The Crew Dragon mission has been pushed back from October 31 to November, and no new date has been set yet The delay is intended to give SpaceX more time to perform tests and review data from a launch discontinued from Falcon 9 earlier this month
International Space Station, Astronaut, Roscosmos, Kathleen Rubins, Soyuz MS-17, Sergey Ryzhikov, NASA Astronaut Corps
World News – United States – Quick Launch of the Russian-American crew to the space station
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