BAIKONUR SPACEPORT / Kazakhstan /, October 14 / TASS /. A Russian Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with a manned Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft took off from the Baikonur spaceport on an ultra-short flight to the International Space Station.
The two-orbital rendezvous with the station will last three hours and seven minutes.
The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket was launched from Site No.31 (Vostok launch pad) of the Baikonur spaceport in Kazakhstan at 8.45 a.m. Moscow time to deliver Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkov , as well as NASA astronaut Kathleen Rubins at the orbital outpost.
In nearly nine minutes, the spacecraft was put into orbit. The spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the Rassvet module at 11:52 a.m. Moscow time the same day.
The crew will board a knitted cosmonaut plush toy, which will serve as an indicator of weightlessness. The toy, made by the wife of Sergei Kud-Sverchkov, was dubbed Yura – a reference to the first man in space, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin.
The crew will spend 177 days in space. During the new expedition, Russian cosmonauts Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov will conduct 55 scientific research and experiments, including four new probes. Three scientific experiments will be carried out without the participation of the crew.
The crew of the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft will bring additional equipment to detect an air leak aboard the ISS, which has continued since September 2019. To this end, Russian cosmonauts will take additional equipment to trace the leak more precisely and more thoroughly. They will also bring on board an additional improved sealer for the butcher.
Roscosmos told TASS that cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who are currently working aboard the ISS, have come to the conclusion that the source of the leak is at the Russian module in Zvezda. The life and health of the crew are out of danger.
During their mission, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov are scheduled to conduct two spacewalks, scheduled for November 2020 and February 2021. Both spacewalks will be needed to undock and empty the Pirs module next year. This is necessary to leave the place of the new Russian module Nauka (Science) which will be launched in April 2021.