April 9, 2020

Today, on April 9, 2020, at 11:05:06 (Moscow time), the “Soyuz-2.1a” launch vehicle with the “Soyuz MS-16” manned spacecraft launched from the platform № 31 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

At 11:13:56 (Moscow time), the ship in the normal mode separated from the third stage of the carrier in the target orbit.On board the ship there is a crew of Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin (commander) and Ivan Wagner (flight engineer-1), NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy (flight engineer-2).

Currently, “Soyuz MS-16” continues its autonomous flight to the International Space Station under the control of specialists from the Mission Control Center.

The rapprochement of the “Soyuz MS-16” manned spacecraft with the International Space Station and the approach to the “Poisk” module of the Russian segment are planned to be carried out automatically in a four-turn scheme.

Docking is scheduled at 17:15 (Moscow time), the beginning of the live broadcast is at 16:45 (Moscow time).

Today’s launch was the first for the “Soyuz-2.1a” launch vehicle with a manned spacecraft of the “Soyuz MS” family and crew on board (the launch in unmanned mode took place on August 22, 2019).

The “Soyuz-2.1a” rocket succeeded the “Soyuz-FG” in delivering cosmonauts and astronauts to the space station.

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