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BAIKONUR, September 26. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Soyuz TMA-14M manned spaceship with an international crew of a long-duration expedition 41-42 separated from the carrier rocket and entered a designated orbit, a Baikonur spokesman told ITAR-TASS on Thursday.
The spaceship is piloted by Russian cosmonaut Aleksandr Samokutyayev. He and his crew mates Yelena Serova and American astronaut Barry Wilmore when reaching the ISS will join Maksim Surayev, Gregory Wiseman, and Alexander Gerst, who have been workign aboard the ISS since May this year. The new crew will work in orbit for 169 days.
“All the three crewmembers feel well,” a spokesman for the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said.
The spaceship TMA-14M is to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) after a shortened, six-hour, flight. One of the advantages of the shortened-flight diagram is that the crew do not have to get adapted to zero gravity in the closed space of the spaceship Soyuz. The condition of weightlessness begins to tell on the human organism in about five hours' time (of the flight), that is, the cosmonauts will be adapting themselves to zero gravity when aboard the ISS - in comfortable conditions.
It is the second flight for the crew’s commander Aleksandr Samokutyayev. His first space flight took place in 2011. Barry Wilmore is no novice in space flights either - he was among the crew of the U.S. space shuttle in the autumn of 2009. For Yelena Serova, this is the first flight in her career. Moreover, she is the first Russian woman cosmonaut to set out on a long space flight in the past 20 years. Her predecessor, Yelena Kondakova, made a five-month orbital flight aboard the Mir space station in 1994.
When in orbit, the new crew are to perform an extensive programme for scientific studies and applied research and experiments. They will receive three Russian resupply Progress spacecraft and a European ATV space vehicle. Besides, Samokutyayev and Maksim Surayev are to make a spacewalk.