NASA has decided to cover the launch of the Soyuz Rocket launch on NASA Television, its website, and the NASA app. The rocket is supposed to launch at 3:42 a.m. EDT (12:42 p.m. in Baikonur), and then lift-off will take place from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
This will be a manned mission, and the Soyuz rocket will carry NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. The passengers aboard the Soyuz MS-18 flight will make a three-hour journey to the International Space Station.
This human-crewed mission’s journey marks the second time that a Soyuz crew has taken the fast-track, a two-orbit path that leads to the International Space Station.
As per the reports published by NASA, the crew members will dock the station’s Rassvet at 7:07 a.m. After the Soyuz crew reaches the International Space Station, they will join the other seven members already residing at the station. Another team called Expedition 64 is already aboard the station.
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The team consists of a NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins, Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos, and the crew of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience, which includes the NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, as well as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi.
Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov, and Rubins from the Expedition 64 team will board the Soyuz MS-17 supposed to carry them out to Kazakhstan after their six-month stay in the orbiting laboratory. The Soyuz MS-17 also happens to be the spacecraft that carried Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov, and Rubins to the ISS.
After two hours of docking at the Rassvet, the hatches separating the Soyuz and the station will open, and the members will get to greet each other.