Two Russian cosmonauts and a NASA astronaut took a fast spin across the Worldwide Area Station on Friday (March 19), as they relocated their Soyuz spacecraft in preparation for the arrival of the following crew.
Expedition 64 commander Sergey Ryzhikov and flight engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, each of the Russian state area company Roscosmos, and flight engineer Kate Rubins of NASA, donned their Sokol stress fits, climbed aboard their Russian Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft after which undocked from the Earth-facing port of the station’s Rassvet Mini-Analysis Module 1 (MRM 1) at 12:38 p.m. EDT (1638 GMT).
“Separation!” Ryzhikov radioed to Russia’s mission management exterior of Moscow because the Soyuz left the area station.
Backing slowly away from Rassvet at a price of lower than one foot per second (zero.2 meters per second), the Soyuz reached a separation distance of about 130 ft (40 meters) and paused whereas floor controllers and Ryzhikov made certain the Soyuz’s programs had been correctly configured.
Ryzhikov piloted the Soyuz on a fly-around of the Russian phase of the orbiting laboratory, from nadir to zenith, passing by the docked Progress MS-16 and Progress MS-14 cargo automobiles whereas maneuvering to the space-facing port of the Poisk Mini-Analysis Module 2 (MRM 2).
After one other transient pause to make sure the Soyuz was aligned with Poisk, Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins reconnected with the area staton at 1:12 p.m. EDT (1712 GMT), 34 minutes after undocking.
“Standing by for contact. Contact confirmed!” mentioned Ryzhikov.
“Congratulations with the profitable docking,” replied mission management.
The hatches between the Soyuz and station had been anticipated to open at about three:30 p.m. EDT (1930 GMT).
The relocation of Soyuz MS-17 freed up the Rassvet port for the arrival of one other Soyuz spacecraft, MS-18, which is able to launch three crewmembers for the station’s Expedition 65 in April. Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov, along with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, are scheduled to raise off on April 9 from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Associated: The International Space Station
The Soyuz transfer was made to maintain Poisk open for future spacewalks. The module was used for the primary time as an airlock in November 2020. With the MS-17 crew set to depart the area station for Earth on April 17, and docking Soyuz MS-18 on the Rassvet, Poisk shall be open to assist Russian extravehicular actions.
Soyuz relocations aren’t an everyday prevalence, however aren’t unusual both. Within the 20-year historical past of human operations on the Worldwide Area Stations, crews have now redocked their Soyuz spacecraft at completely different ports 19 occasions. An extra 29 Soyuz strikes had been made by cosmonauts on prior Russian area stations, for a complete 48 relocations since 1978.
Robert Pearlman is a Area.com contributing author and the editor of collectSPACE.com, a Area.com associate website and the main area historical past information publication. Comply with collectSPACE on Fb and on Twitter at @collectSPACE. Comply with us @Spacedotcom and Fb.