HISTORY OF CBS NEWS AND USED WITH PERMITTING
A n cosmonaut and his NASA pilot, after ninety months after he went into dramatic start last October, finally came to orbit and, with the astronaut NASA, made his first flight. six hours later with the International Space Station to raise the crew of the laboratory to six.
Under the cloudy sky, the Union booster healed and descended from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The EDT (12:14 am local time), at about the time when the Earth's rotation had a launch pad, the same one used by Yuri Gagarin in the dawn of the cosmic age, in the plane of the orbit of the station.
session of the Union of MS-12 / 58S Alexei Ovchinin, left-wing flight engineer Tyler "Nika" The Hague and astronaut Christina Koch caught up with the laboratory complex after four orbital chases, moving to automatic docking The Earth-focused Rassvet module at 21:01
] After waiting for the residual movement, the hooks and latches are engaged in order to pull the ferry into the so-called "hard mat" with the docking port. It was expected that the hatches would be opened approximately two hours after the tests to check the airtight seal and pressure alignment between the two spacecraft.
In anticipation of the arrival of a new brigade, the commander of the station Oleg Kononenko, a Canadian cosmonaut David Saint-Jacques and NASA engineer Anne McClean. They were launched to the outpost on December 3 and had a station for themselves since December 19, when the crew of the Union had returned to the Earth before.
The station is usually equipped with six crew, but the schedule of rotation of the crew was thrown on October 11, when the Soyuz rocket carrying Ovchinina and The Hague suffered a catastrophic malfunction two minutes after launch, when one of the four boosters did not have time to separate from the central stage of the rocket. accelerating the crew's capsule away from an unsuccessful missile. Ovchinin and The Hague reached a height of just over 50 miles before they could safely land approximately 250 miles from the launch pad.
The problem with a normally reliable soy booster was quickly corrected by clearing the way for the explosion of Kononenko, Saint-Jacques and McClain.
The Soyuz MS-12 / 58S spacecraft, launched on Thursday, was originally expected to take off in April with a commander of Oleg Skrypchka, a visiting cosmonaut of the United Arab Emirates and Kohah, who was during training as an engineer. flight board or second pilot. But after a break, the flight moved, and Ovchinin and the Hague were assigned to join Koch and the Hague, which took over the role of a second pilot.
In an interview before the launches, Koh, an electrical engineer, climber and an Antarctic researcher's veteran said that she had no doubt about the Soyuz spacecraft and the deployment of space.
"This is an incredible car," she said. The fact that its reliability is so high is something very important, and it was a huge privilege to work on a spaceship that has such an excellent record. It was an honor. This is a good spacecraft. "
An expanded six-member crew encounters an extremely busy first few weeks along with three space exits planned for the end of the month to install new solar-powered batteries and carry out other upgrades and maintenance. The Hague and McClain will take their first battery-based excursion on March 22, when McClain and Koch expect they will be there for seven days. The Hague and Saint-Jacques will host the third EVA on April 8.
Astronaut Svetlana Savitskaya was the first woman to go in space in 1984. Eleven American women walked in her footsteps, starting with astronaut Katherine Sullivan during a shuttle flight in October 1984. thirteenth and fourteenth to swim outside of the spacecraft and the first female team in space.
NASA originally planned to install new solar cell batteries during two space transitions last fall, but the launch of the Japanese cargo ship HTV-7, which transported them to orbit was postponed, and the EVA was postponed until the expected arrival of The Hague in October last year.
Along with the exits to space, the crew of the station will carry out a full list of scientific research and scheduled maintenance and unload six unharmed cargo vehicles – two Russian Progress Trucks, two ships to supply SpaceX Dragon, a cargo cartridge Northrup Grumman Cygnus and Japanese HTV.
Kononenko, Saint-Jacques and McClain will return to Earth on June 25 to complete the 203-day mission. Ovchinin, the Hague and Koch will have a station for themselves between them and on July 6, when three new crew members arrive: Alexander Skvortsov, "The Union of MS-13 / 59S" commander, NASA astronaut Drew Morgan and Italian cosmonaut Luke Parmigiano.
This flight was the last Russian mission made for the transportation of American astronauts as NASA's transits to commercial ships built by spacecraft and Boeing. SpaceX launched its Crew Dragon spacecraft on March 2 on an unsigned test flight and could be ready to launch the first astronauts mid-summer.
The Hague and Koch trained for Crew Dragon and Boing's Starliner dockings. really a great deal "for NASA, allowing the US space agency to stop its sole dependence on the Russian alliance for transportation to and from the space station.
But NASA hedges its bets. The agency is in the process of acquiring two additional Soyuz seats, one for use this fall and another in the spring of next year, to make sure that American astronauts can reach the station if the commercial crew is faced with major delays
Ovchinin, The Hague, and Koch plan Return to Earth on October 3 to complete the 204-day mission.