August 28, 2020
Categories: ISS, Roscosmos, Russia, Soyuz, Space
The first ever crew of the International Space Station, consisting only of Russian cosmonauts, can fly on the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft in the spring of 2021, a source in the rocket and space industry said.
Earlier it became known that the launch of the Soyuz MS-18 manned spacecraft by the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle from the Baikonur cosmodrome is scheduled for April 10, 2021.
“It is proposed to include three Russian cosmonauts in the Soyuz MS-18 crew: Oleg Novitsky, Pyotr Dubrov and Andrei Borisenko,” the agency’s source said.
The previous fully Russian crew consisting of Sergei Zaletin and Alexander Kaleri left on the Soyuz TM-30 spacecraft to the Mir orbital station in April 2000. Crews from only Russian cosmonauts did not fly to the ISS.
According to the source, the need to send a completely Russian crew is associated with the arrival of the new Russian module “Science” to the ISS expected in April 2020, which will require a lot of work, including spacewalks, to put it into operation.
According to a spokesman for the Roscosmos press service, the composition of the crew has not yet been approved.
In March, Pavel Vlasov, head of the Cosmonaut Training Center, said that Borisenko was part of a group of Russian cosmonauts selected for flights to the ISS on new American manned spacecraft, but did not rule out that he would eventually fly on Soyuz.
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