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Watch LIVE as three space travellers launch on a Soyuz for the ISS

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 9/04/2021 09:28:35 Jonathan Chadwick and Ryan Morrison For Mailonline
a close up of smoke: MailOnline logo © Provided by Daily MailMailOnline logo

A NASA astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts have blasted off for the International Space Station (ISS) on board a Soyuz MS-18 rocket.

The trio, who are part of the latest crew heading to the orbiting lab, launch from Earth at 08:42 BST from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA's Mark Vande Hel, Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskly and Flight Engineer Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos will make the three hour journey to dock with the station.

They will orbit the Earth twice before making the trip to dock with the Rassvet module on the station, a nearly 20ft long 'mini research module', launched in 2010. 

a view of a city with smoke coming out of it: Footage from lift-off at 8:42 today. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hel is making his second trip to the ISS that's orbiting 254 miles above the Earth

Footage from lift-off at 8:42 today. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hel is making his second trip to the ISS that's orbiting 254 miles above the Earth
© Provided by Daily Mail

The Soyuz launch comes three days before the 60th anniversary of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's launch to become the first human in space.

It is also three days before the 40th anniversary of the first launch of NASA's space shuttle, taking place on April 13.

The trio will join the Expedition 64 crew including NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins, who arrived on the station with Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos in October 2020.

They will also join the crew of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience - NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker, as well as Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi. 

graphical user interface: NASA tweeted footage of the three men waving goodbye as they boarded the Soyuz MS-18 rocket ahead of the take-off to the ISS

NASA tweeted footage of the three men waving goodbye as they boarded the Soyuz MS-18 rocket ahead of the take-off to the ISS
© Provided by Daily Mail

The spacecraft will dock to the station at midday, with coverage of rendezvous and docking beginning at 11:15 BST. 


Gallery: Space photos: Stunning images you have to see (USA TODAY)

About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open, and the 10 crew members will greet each other.  

Vande Hei, Novitskiy, and Dubrov will be part of Expeditions 64 and 65. The departure of Rubins, Ryzhikov, and Kud-Sverchkov on Friday, April 16, will mark the start of the new expedition.  

The new launch follows a complicated docking manoeuvre on the ISS on April 5 that saw the SpaceX Crewe Dragon spacecraft move from one docking port to another.

a satellite in space: The International Space Station (ISS, pictured) is a $100 billion (£80 billion) science and engineering laboratory that orbits 250 miles (400 km) above Earth

The International Space Station (ISS, pictured) is a $100 billion (£80 billion) science and engineering laboratory that orbits 250 miles (400 km) above Earth
© Provided by Daily Mail

This wasn't to make way for the Soyuz, which docks with a Russian module, but rather to make way for both the next Crew Dragon later this month and a cargo dragon ship, due to arrive at the station in June.

The SpaceX Crew-2 mission is scheduled to launch on April 22 on the Crew Dragon Endeavour, taking NASA's Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, ESA's Thomas Pesquet and JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide.

A week later, on April 28, the Crew-1 mission will come to an end when Hopkins, Walker, Victor Glover and Soichi Noguchi splash down near Florida.

The returning Crew Dragon Resilience will be refurbished for the 'Inspiration4 Mission' that will take four private citizens to the ISS no earlier than mid-September.

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9. huhtikuuta 2021 12:28:35 Categories: Daily Mail

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