Russia’s Soyuz spaceship was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on April 20, being attached to Soyuz-FG rocket and delivering two astronauts to the ISS. This was the first two-person space flight for the last 14 years. A cosmonaut and an astronaut were sent to the International Space Station where they will stay for five months.
- On April 20, a Soyuz spaceship was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrone in Kazakhstan.
- The craft delivered two astronauts to the International Space Station.
- Jack Fisher and Fyodor Yurchikhin are scheduled to reach the ISS on April 20 at 9:23 a.m. EDT.
Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos and astronaut Jack Fisher with NASA have started their voyage towards the ISS at 3:13 a.m. EDT on Thursday, April 20. They are scheduled to dock the spacecraft with the Poisk module of the ISS at 9:23 a.m. EDT. Once they reach the orbital space station, Yurchikhin and Fischer will be part of the Expedition 51 crew. They will be joining Thomas Pesquet, an astronaut at the European Space Agency (ESA), cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and Peggy Whitson from NASA.
The two astronauts who were delivered to the ISS were scheduled to join the crew in 2015 together with Paolo Nespoli, an ESA astronaut. Nevertheless, Roscosmos decided to reduce the number of astronauts until their lab MLM (multipurpose lab module) Nauka will be ready for launching in 2018. Roscosmos is still working at developing MLM Nauka, making the last modifications and seat changes.
Paolo Nespoli is bound to rejoin Yurchikhin and Fisher in July when he will set off aboard the Soyuz MS-05 spaceship with two other crew members. On April 19, Fisher declared that they are bound to carry some supplies to the ISS in the third seat which should have been used by Nespoli. He also stated that both him and Fyodor would like to take their wives up there with them instead of carrying some cargo.
Back in 2003, it was the last time when a two-person crew set off aboard a Soyuz spaceship, when Yuri Malencheko with Roscosmos and NASA’s Ed Lu became the Expedition 7 crew after the loss of the space shuttle Columbia in February 2003. Just like Lu and Malenchenko, who returned to Earth with a third member, Pedro Duque from ESA, Yurchikhin, and Fisher will also have another member when landing in September.
Soyuz MS-04 is the 50th Soyuz spaceship to reach the ISS since 2000, being the 133rd one since the first flight of Soyuz-class crafts in 1967.
Image source: wikipedia