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LV Soyuz-FG carrying crew transportation spacecraft Soyuz MS-08 successfully launched from the Baikonur launch site

March 22, 2018

An integrated launch vehicle carrying the crew transportation spacecraft Soyuz MS-08 was successfully launched from Area No.1 (“Gagarin’s launch pad”) of the Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 21, 2018 at 20 hours 44 minutes Moscow Time. Onboard the spacecraft are the members of Expedition ISS-55/56: Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev (commander) and NASA astronauts Andrew J. Feustel andRichard R. Arnold (flight engineers).

After the spacecraft separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle, specialists of the Lead Operations Control Team of the ISS Russian Segment (ISS RS LOCT) at the Mission Control Center assumed control over its mission.

Currently preparing to welcome their colleagues onboard the International Space Station are the commander of the international crew of ISS-55, a Russian cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and flight engineers, a NASA astronaut Scott Tingle (USA) and a JAXA astronaut Norishige Kanai (Japan).

The mission plan calls for using a two-day flight profile to rendezvous the crew transportation spacecraft with the ISS. The spacecraft docking with the space station is scheduled for March 23, 2018.

Soyuz MS-08 approach to the station and docking to the research module Poisk (MRM2) are to be performed in automatic mode under supervision of ISS RS LOCT specialists at MCC and Russian crew members of the transportation spacecraft and the station.

Soyuz MS-08 will deliver 161 kg of various cargoes for Russian cosmonauts and our partners in the ISS. These include hardware for experiments, equipment for biomedical and geophysical research, habitable environment monitoring devices, life support and personal crew items.

The expedition tasks include: handling Russian and US cargo vehicles, keeping station in good working order, carrying out extravehicular activities under the programs of the Russian and US segments, performing onboard still and video photography to chronicle the mission of the ISS RS, and symbolic activities.

Under the Russian program of applied scientific research, including joint experiments with NASA and ESA, there are plans to run 60 applied science experiments to study Earth and space during Expedition ISS-55/56.
A spacewalk from DC1 under the RS program is scheduled for August 2018.

During a spacewalk the main crew of the upcoming Expedition ISS-55/56 is to install on the outer surface of Zvezda module of the ISS Russian Segment the antenna unit of a joint Russian-German science equipment package Icarus. There are also plans to run the experiment Test and launch two small satellites within the framework of the educational experiment Radioskaf.

The planned mission duration is 161 days.

The new-series spacecraft Soyuz MS was developed as a result of a radical upgrade of Soyuz TMA spacecraft. It is designed to deliver crews of up to three and their accompanying cargoes to the International Space Station, as well as to return them to Earth. When attached to the ISS, it also serves as a crew rescue vehicle and is kept permanently ready for emergency crew return to Earth.

 

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Launches

July 10, 2018
LV Soyuz-2.1a with SC Progress MS-09 is launched
June 6, 2018
LV Soyuz-FG with SC Soyuz MS-09 is launched

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