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Russia to launch Soyuz MS-17 crewed spacecraft to orbital outpost on October 14

19 August 2020 19:39

MOSCOW. KAZINFORM The launch of a Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft with three crewmembers to the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled for October 14, Russia’s Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center announced on Wednesday.

«The cosmonauts of the basic and back-up teams of ISS Expedition 64 will undergo a cycle of training sessions in the standard and back-up modes as part of preparations for a flight under a short scheme of the Soyuz MS-17’s rendezvous with the ISS scheduled for October 14, 2020,» the Center said in a statement, TASS reports.

A source in the space industry told TASS in mid-May that the second manned launch in 2020 was scheduled for October 14.

The spacecraft is set to arrive at the orbital outpost in three hours and 20 minutes after making two orbits of the Earth. Basic crew instructor Aidar Bikmuchev said that this flight scheme would cut the number of operations performed by the spaceship’s crew and therefore would «lower the probability of mistakes for the commander and the flight engineers.»

The forecast of the Soyuz MS-17’s rendezvous with the orbital outpost may be adjusted using both measurements of the Kurs-NA radio-technical docking system and the data of Glonass and GPS navigation satellites.

Autumn flight

Head of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin earlier said that the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft with three crewmembers onboard scheduled to lift off towards the International Space Station in October might travel under a two-orbit pattern.

A source in the domestic space industry told TASS in August that specialists of Russia’s Energia Space Rocket Corporation had started training cosmonauts for a record fast flight to the International Space Station under an ultra-short scheme with the crewed spacecraft expected to reach the orbital outpost in three hours. Roscosmos later confirmed this information.

In late May, the inter-agency commission approved the basic and back-up crews for a flight to the International Space Station in October.

Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkov and NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins were approved as the basic crew for the October flight aboard the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft.

The back-up crew consists of Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov and US astronaut Mark Vande Hei. The inter-agency commission also approved a specially formed reserve crew due to the coronavirus pandemic. It will comprise Roscosmos cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Andrei Babkin.


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