The Russian Soyuz spacecraft will send an American astronaut and two cosmonauts to the International Space Station early Friday morning (April 9) – and you can watch it live.
The Soyuz capsule with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hey, Oleg Novitsky and Peter Dubrov is to be launched on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:42 am ET (07:42 GMT or 12:42 pm local time) time) on Friday. , a three hour drive up to International space station…
You can watch the action live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA, or directly through the space agency… Start coverage will begin at 2:45 am ET (07:45 GMT).
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If all goes according to plan, the troika’s spacecraft docks with the space station at around 7:07 am ET (1107 GMT). Coverage of this event will begin at 6:15 am ET (10:15 am GMT). NASA will also broadcast on the Internet the opening of the hatch and comments from the crew or air traffic controller, which are expected to occur around 8:30 am ET (12:30 GMT).
This mission will be the second space flight for Wande Hey, the third for the Union commander Novitsky and the first for Dubrov.
NASA announced Wanda Hey’s participation in this mission just last month. Typically, crew members on long missions to space stations are notified years in advance, but NASA sped up the search for Wanda Hey after the agency’s plans to move to commercial crew capabilities were complicated by ongoing technical problems with Boeing. Starliner Astronaut Taxi, which could postpone the first flight of this crewed vehicle until 2022.
(Like Boeing, SpaceX has a contract with the NASA Commercial Crew Program. The SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule is up and running and has already delivered two crews to the orbital lab.)
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Wande Hei did receive a flight notice ahead of the public announcement, he told Space.com in an exclusive interview… “I was preparing for this flight as a contingency, in case we can get a seat,” he said.
NASA usually buys seats aboard the Soyuz. But in this case, NASA and Roscosmos, Russia’s federal space agency, have instead agreed to swap places – Wanda Hey on the Soyuz spacecraft for a future Roscosmos astronaut on a future commercial crew flight. Missions are still being determined as NASA fixes problems with scheduling commercial crews and Wanda Hey can thus spend a year instead of the usual six months in space. But that hasn’t been decided yet.
“The situation is changing, and … we have to coordinate with the Russians, in particular with Roscosmos, to decide when to return,” Wande Hei told Space.com.
His previous space flight lasted six months. So Wande Hei said he was looking forward to a new “life experience” if tasked with staying in the air for a year.
A three-man Soyuz MS-18 crew will join seven Expedition 64 space pilots currently in the orbital laboratory. one of the largest brigades in recent years… The already arrived seven people arrived in two spaceships last year. In October, Soyuz delivered NASA astronaut Katya Rubins and cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkov to the station. SpaceX Crew Dragon then sent NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker to the orbital complex in November, as well as Japanese Soichi Noguchi.
The launch on Friday will take place three days before the 60th anniversary of the first manned flight into space from the same place where this historic launch took place. April 12, 1961 Soviet Union Yuri Gagarin launched into near-earth orbit from the Baikonur cosmodrome. The Russian space agency Roskosmos named the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft Gagarin after the famous cosmonaut.
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