The launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan took place on Wednesday at 1:45 a.m.
The Soyuz trio capsule is expected to anchor with the space station at 4:52 a.m. ET and the hatch between the space station and the capsule will open at 6:45 a.m. ET, allowing them to enter the station.
This is the second space flight for Rubins and Ryzhikov and the first for Kud-Sverchkov, and they will spend six months on the space station.
Along the way is Yuri, a little cosmonaut knitted by Kud-Svertskov’s wife Olga. Serves as an indicator of zero weight of the crew. In fact, once it starts floating, the crew will know they have reached space. Each crew gets its own index, according to NASA.
Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov will briefly overlap with NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. Cassidy, Ivanishin and Vagner will leave the station using the anchored Soyuz capsule and return to Earth on October 21.
The 2nd time
Rubins begins her second mission by starting her birthday.
He will vote in the US presidential election from the space station, according to NASA. In fact, it is the second time he has voted from space. Rubins voted in the 2016 election during its first six-month stay on the space station between July and October 2016.
However, training and starting a pandemic is a new experience for the Rubins – even though they are comfortable with personal protective equipment because of its “old life”, he told CNN in September. Before becoming an astronaut, he was a scientist who studied viral diseases, cancer biology, microbiology and immunology.
“I started preparing for this before the pandemic during regular crew training,” he said. “When NASA closed, I learned how to train remotely using video and software. I never thought I would train for a space flight during a pandemic or train in space from my living room.”
Rubins eventually managed to return to training in person in Texas and Russia with her Russian partners, all keeping their distance and wearing masks.
Returning to the space station will allow Rubins to check some items from its bucket list.
She was the first person to follow DNA into space in 2016 and is looking forward to continuing her research into sequencing in new ways by studying the space station’s microbe or microbial environment.
“The space station has been separate from Earth for 20 years,” Rubins said. “How is it different? The space station is its own biomat with its own resources, with people coming and going. We want to see what these closed environments do when they are separate for a long time.”
The DNA sequence can reveal vast amounts of information, Rubins said, so applying the sequence to the station microbe can reveal a microbial picture of the space station – and how it differs from Earth. It is a huge opportunity that may not come again because nothing has ever been isolated from Earth for 20 years.
Rubins is willing to use the sequence to push the boundaries of what they can do on the space station, as well as engage in cell culture studies. Since her previous stay at the station, there are new high-resolution microscopes that she can use to study cells.
“This time, it’s all on my bucket list,” Rubins said. “Waiting to be back for a few years, there is new equipment at the station that will allow me to do all these things.”
Her upcoming mission will include conducting research using the station’s Cold Atom Laboratory to study individuals, as well as a cardiovascular experiment that will follow a research she worked on during her first space flight, according to NASA.
The 20th anniversary of a continuous human presence on the space station takes place on November 1 at the beginning of the second semester of the Rubins mission.
“It’s so exciting – we are at this wonderful moment in the history of space stations for 20 years,” he said. “In this incredibly capable orbital laboratory, we can do all kinds of experiments, including physics, examining particles and quantum mechanics, biology experiments, tissue printers with tissue-like structures, and even human physiology.”
Rubins also looks forward to the video linking the astronauts to the students on Earth, which is referred to as one of the “main points of the station”. He hopes to connect remotely with the classrooms and answer students’ questions.
“It’s amazing to have that human connection,” he said. “I know a lot of kids are fighting at home, so hopefully we can bring some joy to talk about space exploration.”
During their stay, these astronauts will also join SpaceX Crew-1, bringing the total number of astronauts at the station to seven.
The crew-1 will transport four more astronauts to the space station through the agency’s commercial crew program: NASA astronauts Victor Glover Jr., Michael Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Japanese Soichi Noguchi.
Crew-1 passes system tests on Earth. It has more features than Endeavor and can be anchored over the space station.
NASA is currently aiming for a launch by early November.
This will allow additional time for SpaceX to complete the data revisions and hardware tests observed on the first stage Falcon 9 gas generators. They behaved “out of nominal behavior” during a recent attempt to launch a mission outside of NASA, the agency said.
“It would be incredible to have seven people on the space station,” Rubins said. “It is designed to handle this. We have been preparing for this in recent years by improving carbon dioxide purification and testing new technology for exploration. Seven crew members on board allow us to try new atmospheric rejuvenation and new space suit elements. We can really increase our scientific output. “