This morning, at 10:42 Moscow time, the “Soyuz-2.1a” missile, carrying the “Soyuz MS-18” spacecraft with 3 astronauts on board, launched to the International Space Station.
The rocket will be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, coinciding with the 60th anniversary of the first manned space flight, in which the Soviet astronaut, Yuri Gagarin, was on board. On this occasion, a picture and initials of Yuri Gagarin were placed on board the missile.
It is expected that the flight will take place according to the short plan, with only two turns around the planet, within 3 and a half hours, after the spacecraft was sent with this scheme for the first time in October of last year, when the spacecraft coalesced at that time after 3 hours and 3 minutes.
It was supposed to be on board this time an entire Russian crew consisting of astronauts: Oleg Nowitzki, Pyotr Dubov, Sergey Korsakov, but in the end, Korsakov was replaced by the American astronaut, Mark Wandy Hay.
The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft will deliver to the International Space Station, among other things, tools and materials to permanently treat the air leakage from the Russian part of the ISS, which became known in August 2020, when astronauts found one of the possible places for the leak. With the help of tea bags.
In February, a powerful microscope was sent to the International Space Station to search for other potential leaks, in addition to leakage seals, while Ross Cosmos President Dmitry Rogozin announced that leak rates are now thousands of times lower than critical rates, and are hardly detected by devices. .
The duration of this mission is planned to be 191 days, while this period is likely to increase to nearly a year for the Russian astronauts, Dubrov, and the American, Vandy Hay.
More than 50 scientific research and experiments will be conducted within the framework of this 65 mission, including 19 studies in space medicine and biology, five studies in space materials science, two in cosmic ray physics, and 20 studies related to space exploration technologies.
RT Al Arabiya will broadcast the launch on the official website of the channel.