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BAIKONUR /Kazakhstan/, October 18. /TASS/. Russian members of the next International Space Station (ISS) mission, scheduled to be launched on October 19, will conduct more than 50 experiments, the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft’s commander, Sergey Ryzhikov, told reporters on Tuesday. In particular, the experiments will include growing peppers in a weightless environment and controlling self-propelled machines from orbit.
As reported earlier, the Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft is due to be launched to the ISS at 11:05 Moscow time (8:05 am GMT) on October 19 from the Baikonur space launching pad. The crew comprises Russia’s Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, as well as US astronaut Robert Shane Kimbrough.
"The Russian scientific research program includes 54 experiments in six various fields. Some of them aim at continuing the work started before, while others will start from a clear slate, so we are looking forward to doing them," Ryzhikov said.
Borisenko, in turn, noted that two of the experiments would be the most important for the Russian cosmonauts "from an emotional point of view". "The first one is growing peppers in zero gravity conditions in the Lada greenhouse, while the other is set to develop algorithms to control travel on a planet’s surface using self-propelled machines, such as moon buggies, from orbit," the cosmonaut elaborated.