On the morning of November 19, 2021, a formal seeing-off for the prime and backup crews of the 20th ISS expedition took place at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center. A few hours later, they arrived at the Baikonur Cosmodrome to complete prelaunch training, the aircraft landed at the Krayny airfield.
The prime crew consists of Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participants from Japan Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano. Their backups are Alexander Skvortsov and Shun Ogiso.
The cosmonauts, spaceflight participants, and staff providing prelaunch training have been accommodated at the GCTC training center. On Friday, the crews will be briefed on the Soyuz MS-20 crewed spacecraft, as well as on checking communication equipment during its fitting, after which the astronauts will prepare personal items for stowage in the Soyuz spacecraft.
During the coming two and a half weeks, the prime and backup crews will have to take an intensive training program, exercises and briefings, as well as medical examinations. In particular, on November 20, they will conduct the first fit check of the Soyuz MS-20 craft, where they will practice the mechanism of actions, get acquainted with onboard documentation and perform a series of tests of onboard systems.
The Soyuz-2.1a rocket with the crewed Soyuz MS-20 spaceship is scheduled to launch on December 8, 2021 from Launchpad Vostok of Site 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The mission to the International Space Station will take 12 days under a contract with Space Adventures company.