Russian space agency Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Peter Dubrov and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hay will exit the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday.
The crew will board the station at 7:07 a.m. ET, and the hatches between the Soyuz spacecraft and the station will open around 9:00 a.m. ET.
This fast voyage to the space station, which includes two orbits on Earth and about three hours of travel time, is provided by the new Soyuz MS-1
Their arrival will lead to a total of 10 station crew members.
The astronauts on the space station have prepared for the new crew by setting up additional sleep stations and clearing the ports.
Russian cosmonauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud-Sverchkov, along with NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, recently moved the Soyuz MS-17 capsule from its port to make room for the crew’s final takeoff from Baikonur.
Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins arrived at the Soyuz capsule space station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in October.
The crew moved their spacecraft from the Rassvet module, which has a port facing Earth, and moved it to the space-facing docking port of Poisk in March. This freed the port of the Rassvet module for the new crew and their Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft.
Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov will return to Earth in the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft on April 17.
NASA-SpaceX Crew-1 historical crew members, including NASA astronauts Victor Glover Jr., Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Japanese Aerospace Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who will launch from the United States to the space station in November, will also return in November. launching Crew-2 next month.
This second rotation with the help of the NASA-SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will include NASA astronauts Shane Kimbro and Megan MacArthur, Japanese aerospace research astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Peske.
Crew-2, which can launch on April 22, will join Crew-1 on the space station before Crew-1 returns to Earth.
This is the second space flight for Vande Hei, the third Novitskiy space flight and the first for Dubrov.
Vande Hay was selected as an astronaut in 2009 and had his first space flight on the space station from September 2017 to February 2018. During his 168 days aboard the station, Vande Hay conducted four space trips. This time, Vande Hei and crew will work on a number of experiments, including studies on Alzheimer’s disease and portable ultrasound devices.
Vande Hay’s flight on the Soyuz spacecraft is part of a contract with Axiom Space in Houston. In return, NASA will essentially save space for the future launch of a commercial spacecraft in 2023 as a crew member on a non-NASA space station.
While NASA is working with Boeing and SpaceX to ensure the safe transport of the crew to and from the space station using US-based launches, grabbing an Alliance site means there will always be at least one US crew member on the space station.
They were launched just three days before the 60th anniversary of the launch of cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin as the first man in space, as well as the 40th anniversary of the first launch of NASA’s space shuttle.