ROSCOSMOS. Prelaunch press conference of Soyuz MS-06 crews

September 11, 2017

On September 11, 2017, the main and the backup crews of the manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz MS-06 held a press conference at the Baikonur launch site. Cosmonauts and astronauts answered questions from journalists and told about the plans for the upcoming mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

Earlier, the State Commission had approved the crews of the spacecraft. The main crew consists of: the spacecraft commander, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, and NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joseph Acaba. The backup crew of Soyuz MS-06 and ISS-53/54 consists of the spacecraft commander, Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and NASA astronauts Scott Tingle and Shannon Walker. Discussed during the press conference were experiments that are scheduled to be conducted onboard the ISS, the pre-flight training period, and the crews plans for their stay in orbit.

Cosmonauts and astronauts told about their favorite experiments in space. The flight engineer of Soyuz MS-06 Mark Vande Hei noted: We are the eyes and the hands of the scientists. We are going to do experiments that nobody has ever done before. And we'll continue studying the effects of spaceflight on human body because some day people are going to fly farther, to Mars. Commander of Soyuz MS-06 Alexander Misurkin shared his expectations of the planned spacewalk. What captivates me most is going on a spacewalk and taking bio samples from the station surface. Who would ever think that there is life there, under such extreme conditions, - said A. Misurkin.

The commander of the main crew also told about a joint project of the Russias largest social networking service VKontakte (InContact) and Roscosmos called VKosmose (InSpace), within the framework of which it is planned to launch to the ISS a spacebot called Spotty. At present the spacebot undergoes all the necessary testing, including electromagnetic compatibility tests, compliance with sanitary and hygienic standards, fire safety, vibration loads and toxicology. Spotty is a robot, which will help the users of the social networking service to communicate with the cosmonauts and receive photographs and videos from the orbital station.

One of the questions from the journalists referred to the concerns about the high level of solar activity and whether it could affect the manned launch. Alexander Misurkin said that in view of the heightened solar activity in the last few days there were concerns that this may affect the flight trajectory, since during such activity the Earth atmosphere expands and exerts higher braking force on the ISS, and this, in turn, may result in the need to perform an additional correction of the station orbit. But currently everything goes according to plan and the launch will take place as scheduled", - reassured the journalists and guests of the press conference Alexander Misurkin.

Misurkin noted that to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the beginning of the space age in the history of mankind, serving as the zero-g indicator during the flight of Soyuz MS-06 will be a miniature model of the first artificial Earth satellite made by Energia Corporation out of a part of the Buran orbiter.


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