ISS-64 mission


ISS crew:

Commander -
Sergey Ryzhikov
Flight engineers:
Sergey Kud-Sverchkov
Kathleen Rubins
Michael Hopkins
Victor Glover
Shannon Walker
Soichi Noguchi


Планета Королёва


ROSCOSMOS. Prelaunch press conference of Soyuz MS-03 crews

November 17, 2016

In time-honored tradition, a pre-launch press conference was held at Baikonur launch site on November 16, 2016. Cosmonauts and astronauts of the main and backup crews of the Crew Transportation Spacecraft (CTS) Soyuz MS-03 answered questions from reporters and told about the plans for the upcoming mission to low-Earth orbit.

Before the press conference the State Commission had approved main crew of CTS Soyuz MS-03 consisting of the spacecraft commander Oleg NOVITSKY (ROSCOSMOS), flight engineers Peggy WHITSON (NASA) and Thomas PESQUET (ESA). Approved as their backup crew were a Roscosmos cosmonaut Fyodor YURCHIKHIN, a NASA astronaut Jack FISCHER, and an ESA astronaut Paolo NESPOLI.

Responding to questions from reporters, Oleg NOVITSKY told that since spacecraft of the Soyuz MS series are new, some of the systems need to be tested, and that was why a two-day rendezvous and docking profile was chosen for the mission: “We are going to fly using the two-day profile so that we could calmly check all the flight phases and try out all the systems, the crew being the eyes and ears of the mission control”. The cosmonaut reminded that this would be his second mission, and he was very glad that this time he was going to fly on a upgraded spacecraft with new systems, would once again see Earth from space and would be able to share this beauty with others.

The French astronaut Thomas PESQUET promised to prepare onboard the ISS a New Year’s Eve dinner according to the best recipes of the French cuisine and, of course, serve it round: “We have French food and I’m going to prepare the New Year’s Eve dinner. Peggy WHITSON, as far as I know, is going to prepare the Christmas dinner. And Oleg NOVITSKY is going to taste it all”. He added that he was going to take with him to the ISS a piece of a meteorite, which he believes to have come to Earth from Mars. “I’m planning to take it onboard the ISS, then bring it back to Earth and afterwards send it to Mars with a rover”, - said the astronaut.

The US astronaut Peggy WHITSON remarked that there were many experiments planned to be run onboard the ISS, some of which would be performed with participation of all the three crewmembers. She considered as the ones that were the most interesting the experiments studying the motion of liquids and growing of stem cells, as well as experiments in reproduction of bacteria and germs in zero gravity.

The new crew believes that the current crew onboard the ISS consisting of Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergei RYZHIKOV and Andrei BORISENKO and the commander of ISS-50, a NASA astronaut Robert Shane KIMBROUGH were looking forward to the gifts and letters from their relatives, which will be delivered onboard Soyuz MS-03.

The launch of the Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft with the crew of ISS-50/51 is scheduled for November 17, 2016 from Launch Pad Area No.1 (“Gagarin’s launch pad”) of the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

During their stay onboard the ISS the crews of Expeditions ISS-50 and ISS-51 are going to work with logistics spacecraft, conduct flight tests and try out new systems: onboard radio system, combined propulsion system, motion control and navigation system, TV system. The cosmonauts are also going to try out the remote operator control mode (TORU) by undocking and separating a Progress MS logistics vehicle from the ISS, station keeping and berthing; to support undocking of Soyuz MS, returning three crewmembers of ISS-49/50 to Earth and docking of Soyuz MS-04 with crewmembers of Expedition ISS-51/52. The program of applied scientific research calls for 44 scientific experiments in various fields – biomedical science, geophysics, biotechnology, etc. At the moment, the planned mission duration for this crew is 180 days.


RSC Energia press-center



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