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Russian cosmonauts, NASA astronaut launch to the space station

April 9, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 49.1%. 2 min read.

Expedition 65 crew members Russian cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos, left, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos, center, and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, pose for a photo during qualification exams, Saturday, March 20, 2021 at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City, Russia, in advance of their scheduled launch April 9 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station. Photo Credit: (NASA/GCTC/Andrey Shelepin)

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov will launch to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Friday. This means the floating laboratory will be home to 10 people.

Russian space agency Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei will launch to the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday.

The launch, docking and arrival of the new crew on the space station will air live on NASA's TV channel and website.

This speedy trip to the space station, which includes two orbits of Earth and about three hours of travel time, is courtesy of the new Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft.

Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, along with NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, recently relocated the Soyuz MS-17 capsule from its port to make room for the latest crew launching from Baikonur.

Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins arrived on the space station in the Soyuz capsule after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in October.

Members of the historic NASA-SpaceX Crew-1, including NASA astronauts Victor Glover Jr. , Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who launched from the US to the space station in November, will also return after the launch of Crew-2 next month.

This second rotation using the NASA-SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will include NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas  Pesquet.

Crew-2, which could launch April 22, will join Crew-1 on the space station before Crew-1 returns to Earth.

In return, NASA will essentially save a seat on a future commercial spacecraft launch in 2023 for a non-NASA space station crew member.

While NASA works with Boeing and SpaceX to ensure safe crew transport to and from the space station using US-based launches, grabbing one seat on the Soyuz means that there will always be at least one US crew member on the space station.

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