Crewed Soyuz MS-17 Launch To ISS Only Took 3 Hours

Crewed Soyuz MS-17 Launch To ISS Only Took 3 Hours”

The mission marks the first mass use of an "ultrafast" flight plan that will see the Soyuz arrive at the space station within three hours of launch, rather than an early six-hour journey or a two-day journey. It was the last time NASA paid for one of its astronauts to fly with Roscosmos, the Russian space agency, before the U.S. program begins launching astronauts to the ISS in the new SpaceX Crew Dragon.

"Moreover, a new record was set in spaceflights to the ISS - the Soyuz MS-17 total flight time from liftoff to docking amounted three hours and three minutes", Roscosmos said in a news release.

Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin, Ivan Vagner, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, as well as NASA astronauts Christopher Cassidy and Kathleen Rubins are now working on the ISS. The flight will take three NASA astronauts (Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker) and Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi on the ISS for six months. During this time, the members of the expedition must make two spacewalks and conduct 55 scientific experiments.

Before May 30, when U.S. astronauts Robert Behnken and Doug Hurley arrived at the ISS courtesy of cars to rockets tycoon Elon Musk, Russia and Baikonur had enjoyed a lucrative monopoly on manned missions to the ISS.

The new astronauts came aboard from the Soyuz spacecraft and the known orbiting laboratory at officially 7:07AM EDT. And Rubins is Flight Engineer 2, going into her second flight to space.

The emergence of private players SpaceX and Boeing - part of NASA's Commercial Crew Program - has fuelled talk of a new "space race" between a number of countries.

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The launch also co-incided with Kathleen Rubins' birthday.

Earlier, "FACTS" reported that Roscosmos has deleted the official Twitter account of the FEDOR robot astronaut, in which he commented on his flight to the ISS, and recently spoke unflatteringly about the situation in the rocket and space industry in Russian Federation.

Before joining the US space agency, NASA, Rubins worked as a microbiologist and was involved in research on viruses.

On the eve of the launch, Ryzhikov expressed sadness over ongoing fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh and said he hoped the example of the ISS could help "spread love, friendship and comradeship".

The ISS, which has been permanently manned since 2000, is a rare example of cooperation between Moscow and Washington.

The proposed new station "is too US-centered", said Rogozin. Since the last space shuttle's last flight in 2011, the only way NASA astronauts could get to the station was the Russian Soyuz rocket.

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