BAIKONUR /Kazakhstan/, October 14. /TASS/. The Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft with three crew members reached the International Space Station (ISS) under the two-orbit scheme for the first time, setting a record by the speed of flight to the orbital outpost, Russia’s space agency Roscosmos said in a live broadcast on Wednesday.
The Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft with Russian cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkov and US astronaut Kathleen Rubins docked to the Rassvet module of the ISS at 11:48 a.m. Moscow time. Therefore, the flight lasted three hours and three minutes, the live broadcast says.
Now the orbital outpost’s crew will check the air tightness of the docking, following which the air pressure will be leveled off between the manned spacecraft and the ISS. After that, Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins will be able to transfer to the space station.
A Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the manned spacecraft blasted off from site No. 31 of the Baikonur spaceport at 08:45 a.m. Moscow time on Wednesday.
The crew will spend 177 days in outer space. During the new expedition, Russian cosmonauts Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov will carry out 55 scientific studies and experiments, including four new probes. Three scientific experiments will be carried out without the crew’s participation. They will also continue the work to trace an air leak in the transfer compartment of the Zvezda module.
The cosmonauts are also set to make two spacewalks. One of them will take place in November 2020 and the other in February 2021.
Both spacewalks will be needed for undocking and dumping the Pirs module next year. This is required for vacating the place for Russia’s new Nauka (Science) module that will be launched in April 2021.
Currently, Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy are working aboard the orbital outpost.