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Russian troops to provide for Soyuz safe launch with TASS reporter, Japanese tourists

The launch of the manned spacecraft is scheduled for December 8, 2021
Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft Sergei Savostyanov/TASS
Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft
© Sergei Savostyanov/TASS

YEKATERINBURG, December 6. /TASS/. Russia’s Central Military District has relocated special teams to Kazakhstan to provide for the safe launch of a Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft with cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin as TASS’ first-ever special reporter in space, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his business assistant Yozo Hirano, the District’s press office reported on Monday.

"The servicemen, special equipment of the search/rescue and parachute service and the crews of the army aviation of the Central Military District have re-deployed to Kazakhstan to provide for the safe launch of the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft with the Japanese tourists on its board," the press office said in a statement.

In particular, over 150 military rescuers and medics and also the crews of Mi-8 helicopters, An-26 and An-12 planes and over 20 motor vehicles, including upgraded search and rescue PEM-1 and PEM-2 ‘Blue Bird’ search and evacuation vehicles have redeployed to Kazakhstan from the Chelyabinsk Region in the Urals, the press office specified.

During the flight of the carrier rocket with the manned spacecraft, the Central Military District’s rescue personnel will be on watch at the Uprun, Gorno-Altaisk, Kyzyl and Yekaterinburg airfields on Russian territory and at the Karaganda, Baikonur, Jezkazgan and Arkalyk aerodromes in Kazakhstan, the statement says.

The launch of the Soyuz MS-20 manned spacecraft with two space tourists to the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled for December 8, 2021. The space travelers will spend 12 days in orbit. Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will be the commander of the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft.

On November 17, Russia’s world-renowned TASS news agency and the State Space Corporation Roscosmos signed a memorandum of cooperation, which stipulates establishing a TASS news office aboard the ISS. Under the agreement, Roscosmos cosmonaut, Hero of Russia Alexander Misurkin will be the first TASS correspondent in space. He will report on the space station’s daily routine. His reports will be available to the agency’s readership from TASS news resources and his photo and video contributions will be uploaded to the agency’s website and official pages on social media.