Cosmonaut Captures Stunning Images Of Record-Setting Soyuz Launch From ISS

Russian spacecraft with an American and two Russian cosmonauts reaches ISS

Since the space shuttle program ended in 2011, NASA has relied on Russian Federation to ferry its astronauts to the space station, an orbiting laboratory 250 miles (400 km) above Earth that has housed worldwide crews of astronauts continuously for almost 20 years.

Rubins and the two Russian cosmonauts will dock the Soyuz to the station's Rassvet module at 4:52 a.m. Coverage of the docking will begin on NASA TV and the agency's website at 4 a.m. Typically, the crew capsule requires a few more orbits to match velocity and altitude with the station, but in this case, the timing and conditions were right to get the spacecraft in the correct spot after just two super fast orbits around the Earth.

"The 20th anniversary of the continued human presence in space is going to be an fantastic event and I think we all look forward to being there during that time", Robbins said.

There are now six crew members staffing the ISS, including cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, as well as NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy, who were already on the station. The three may also be on station for the first docking by the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft in an unmanned orbital flight test, which targets early 2021.

During their six-month mission, Robins, Regikov and Kod-Sverchkov will conduct hundreds of scientific experiments and technical demonstrations in a diverse field of disciplines, including biology, biotechnology, physics and earth sciences.

This is actually the second spaceflight for Ryzhikov, Rubins, and Kud-Sverchkov and also will make them the 241st people to visit this unique microgravity laboratory.

According to NASA, Rubins became the first person to sequence DNA in space during her first spaceflight in 2016.

As per reports, this is also being reported as the last Russian flight to carry a United States crew member.

The U.S. space agency in 2014 contracted Elon Musk's SpaceX and Boeing Co BA.N to build competing space capsules in an effort to reclaim NASA's launch independence.

The new Expedition 64 is said to begin on Oct 21, Wednesday, with the coming departure of Vagner, Ivanishin, and also Cassidy in the known Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft that previously brought them to the known space station back on April 9. It is the 100th spacecraft that launches a crew towards the space station, including Soyuz MS10.

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