September fifteenth, 2023
Russia has launched its first crewed flight in practically a yr with the flight of Soyuz MS-24 with two Russian cosmonauts and one NASA astronaut for a multi-month keep aboard the Worldwide House Station.
Liftoff atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket occurred at 11:44 a.m. EDT (15:44 UTC) Sept. 15, from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft with Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub, and NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara reached orbit lower than 10 minutes later to start a two-orbit rendezvous profile to the ISS.
As soon as on the area station, docking occurred on the Earth-facing port of the Rassvet module 2:53 p.m. EDT (18:53 UTC). The trio joined the seven-person Expedition 69 crew already aboard the outpost round two hours later at 5:16 p.m. EDT (21:16 UTC) after leak checks and hatch opening.
Kononenko, Chub and O’Hara have been initially slated to launch in March in Soyuz MS-23 to interchange the Soyuz MS-22 crew: NASA’s Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, who launched to area for his or her mission on Sept. 21, 2022.
Nonetheless, in December 2022, Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio confronted an sudden problem when a doable micrometeoroid punctured the exterior coolant loop of their Soyuz spacecraft, inflicting all of the coolant to leak out. This prevented the spacecraft from sufficiently cooling the inside and would have made a return in that automobile uncomfortably sizzling for the trio.
As such, Roscosmos made the choice to fly Soyuz MS-23 to the ISS with out a crew to behave as a alternative for Soyuz MS-22, which might land with out its crew.
This meant that Kononenko, Chub and O’Hara have been bumped to Soyuz MS-24 and its September 2023 launch slot. It additionally meant that Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio would stay on the ISS for an extra six months.
In reality, the now Soyuz-MS-23 trio is predicted to land on Sept. 27, bringing their whole mission time to 371 days — the longest single mission to the International Space Station, and the third longest in human history.
It additionally marks the longest single spaceflight for a NASA astronaut, Rubio, and the primary American to spend greater than twelve months in orbit.
Now that this practically two-week handover interval with the Soyuz MS-23 and Soyuz MS-24 crews is ongoing, the station inhabitants is briefly at 10 folks. The opposite 4 are a part of the SpaceX Crew-7 mission, which launched in Crew Dragon Endurance in late August. They’re NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, European House Company astronaut Andreas Mogensen, Japan Aerospace Exploration Company astronaut Satoshi Furukawa and Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov.
All are a part of the final section of Expedition 69, which is able to transition to Expedition 70 upon the departure of Soyuz MS-23 on Sept. 27.
Of the three crew members of Soyuz MS-24, 39-year-old Chub and 40-year-old O’Hara are on their first journey into area. Kononenko, 59, is on his fifth spaceflight, the opposite 4 (all aboard the ISS) have totaled him simply over 736 days between 2008 and 2018.
O’Hara is predicted to return to Earth in March 2024. Nonetheless, Chub and Kononenko are anticipated to stay on the ISS till September 2024 and return in Soyuz MS-25, which set to launch in March 2024 with two cosmonauts on a roughly 10-day keep (returning in Soyuz MS-24) and NASA’s Tracy Caldwell-Dyson for a six-month keep (returning with Chub and Kononenko.
With Kononenko’s fifth spaceflight anticipated to final round a yr, that will make him essentially the most skilled spaceflyer. The present report holder for many cumulative time in area is retired Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka. His 5 missions between 1998 and 2015 totaled 878.5 days.
Kononenko is predicted to surpass that report by February 2024, be the primary individual to cross 900 cumulative days in area by March and over 1,000 days by subsequent summer season.
If Soyuz MS-25 returns by its at present scheduled date of Sept. 24, his whole can be greater than 1,100 days along with his fifth journey to the ISS lasting 374 days, which itself would break the report just lately set by the Soyuz MS-23 crew.
Video courtesy of NASA
Derek Richardson has a level in mass media, with an emphasis in modern journalism, from Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas. Whereas at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the coed run newspaper, the Washburn Evaluation. He additionally has a web site about human spaceflight referred to as Orbital Velocity. You’ll find him on twitter @TheSpaceWriter.