NASA astronaut, two cosmonauts, rocket toward space station

During an age mission NASA astronaut and former virus chaser Kate Rubins rocked into the orbit Wednesday with 2 cosmonaut crewmates on a record-setting ride to the International Space Station utilizing NASA 's final seat, which was currently contracted, on a Russian Soyuz spaceship.

Just two weeks before the 20th anniversary of the railway station's first team arriving on 2 November 2000, the production of Rubin celebrated its 42nd birthday.

Since then, revolving teams or expeditions of American, Russian, Japanese, European or Canadian fliers and a few space tourists have continually staffed the laboratory complex.

Soyuz MS-17/63S blows off from Kazakhstan's Baikonur Cosmodrome, bringing Kate Rubins and two cosmonauts in orbit to the international space station on their double orbit.

/ Loan: NASA / Roscosmos

"It's unbelievable that we had an uninterrupted human presence space station for 20 years," said Rubins.

"The fact that we have done this as a multinational alliance and cooperation is, I guess, one of the most amazing engineering feats that mankind has made. I think that is the immaterial value of everything."

She said on a more personal level before the launch, "It would be sort of a birthday that I would never be able to beat.

"It's very amusing. On your birthday, it is wonderful to fly into orbit."

The senior Sergey Ryzhikova station and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, the rookie co-pilot of Soyuz MS-17/63S, was off at 1:45 in Kazakhstan from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Wednesday east time (10:45 local time). Eastern time.

The crew first performed an orbiting rendezvous with the Soyuz programme, at 4:48 am, only three hours and three minutes after launch, at 4:48 am at an Earth-facing Rassvet module-a new mark for the most rapid journey to the space station.

The NASA flight director Ed Van Cise wrote, "Speak about the Express train. Welcome to @Space Station."

The Expedition 63 commander Chris Cassidy and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner were standing by to welcome Ryzhikov and his company.

The Soyuz MS-16/62S was launched to the space station on April 9.

After NASA's last flight in 2011 the stable Russian tri-seat Soyuz and the ability of the Russian space agency to offer the seats to the US Space Agency and their foreign partners, though at premium rates, have been entirely reliant on NASA.

After a recording two-orbit appointment, the Soyuz spacecraft crosses the west coast of Africa at the last approach of the International Space Station.

/ Loan: NASA.

Nearly six years after NASA started financing market production for astronaut SpaceX and Boeing ships, NASA 's dependency on Russia for simple space transport falls to an end. Now it's around five billion dollars.

Roscosmos was compensated by NASA for the $90.3 million Rubins Ticket but the Organization is aiming to make the last payout when it moves to routine launching of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Cabs and Boeing's CST-100 Starliner, which will commence next year.

The next expected mission of U.S. astronauts on a SpaceX Crew Dragon to the space station after Rubins would take the first flight of the program.

The six-month "Crew-1" mission is scheduled to launch at the beginning of November.

NASA is also preparing, over the life of the railways as a precaution against accidents such as dangerous diseases, to deploy astronauts onboard Sojuz spacecraft, which could contribute to the start of the U.S. or Russian crew vessel.

At least one astronaut or cosmonaut must guarantee that combined crews run the structures of their country at any point on board the station.

However, these mixed flights would cover barter deals rather than clear money transfers, including imminent launch by Russian cosmonauts on the latest American spacecraft.

NASA also is paying for seating on U.S. satellites — prices are still uncertain — but capital is being invested in the U.S.

In this sense, since 2006, NASA has bought 71 Soyuz seats for around $4 billion, a total of $373.5 million from five Boeing seats in a settlement between the corporation and a Russian counterpart.

The sum also involves $1 billion for 13 seats needed due to delays in introducing the Trade Crew Program.

Overall NASA charged an average seat costs of 56.3 million dollars for the 71 performed and scheduled missions from 2006 through the MS-17 flight of Rubins' Soyuz and pricing from about 21.3 million dollars to 90.3 million dollars on Wednesday's flight.

Soothing cosmonauts?

Commander Sergey Ryzhikov, Left and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, Flight Engineer, have a short nap — or say — in follow-up prior to start.

/ Loan: NASA / Roscosmos

NASA is ready to turn the page in recognition of the Russia's long-term assistance.

Earlier this summer the successful test flight of a Crew Dragon delivering two astronauts to the space station marked "another landmark in the progress of our ability to start US astronauts sustainably from American land on American rockets," NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said.

"These days are really amazing."

The Crew-1 astronauts would raise their station personnel ratios from 3 to 7 and the crew from 1 to 5 in the U.S. portion.

"If we raise astronaut numbers aboard, we will accomplish three times the scientific achievement and three times the technical advancement," said Bridenstine.

"To our Artemis program (moon) and finally to the Mars program, all this is critically necessary.

"When we build moon to Mars, we use low-earth orbits in order to validate all these skills and technology in order to finally establish a lasting return to the moon and then carry all this information into Mars.

This is another important achievement for this unique role.

We're excited. "This is really excited.

The two crews of SpaceX Crew Dragon are welcoming Rijzhikova, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubin to the space station for six months before going down into Earth about 1 May.

Ryzhikov served 173 days on the station in 2016-17, and Rubins, a Ph.D. in cancer biology from Stanford University, served 115 days at the lab in 2016 during a project that overlapsed Ryzhikov 's tenure. Kud-Sverchkovi is the only newcomer on Soyuz 's crew.

Two spacewalks were performed, including one to finish the construction of a docking port to use SpaceX and Boeing spacecraft and to record outside the Station for 12 hours and 46 minutes.

Ryzhikov (lower step), Rubins (center) and Kud-Sverchkov prepare to launch the Roscosmos with all precautions taken during COVID-19 to the launch-pad.

During her second station exploration she will not investigate the COVID‐19, but Rubins will add a broad range of studies and tests to her knowledge.

She said, "We are looking at the reality, such as those in our atmosphere, how we deal with such microbes, whether pathogenic or helpful, and that we are not doing this study directly on a station, which needs to be handled in high biosafety laboratories on Earth."

The 'space station is a great place to research it, so it's remote. ISS is kind of the greatest quarantine. I believe that we are really curious with what happens to humans and their microbiome ecosystem as they arrive from the earth.

One week before Cassidy, Ivanishin and Vagner Undock, Rubins, Ryzhikov, and the Kud Sverchkov will be able to get up and head back to the Earth aboard their Soyuz MS–62/16S spacecraft in order to complete a 196 day trip.

It is scheduled for 21st October (U.S. time) to land on the Kazakhstaan steppe near the town of Dzhezkazgan.

Cassidy, retired Navy SEAL, is set for three missions for 378 days while Ivanishin has a total of three flights for 196 days.

His first flight is completed by Vagner.

At the start of November at the Kennedy Space Centre, Landing would set the scene for the start of the Crew 1 launch from Pad 39A.

The mission commanders are Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Soichi Noguchi from Japan.

Hopkins, Walker and Noguchi are veterans of spaceflight while Glover travels into space for the first time, who all flew on and off the Soyuz.

Like Rubins, they plan to remain on the station for around six months and pass it next April to another crew from SpaceX Crew Dragon.

"I'm so happy that as they come through the hatch, I will salute crew 1," said Rubins.

"When I enter, they will be there very fast and it will be unbelievable to bring our complement of our station to a complete crew of seven.

"We have to maintain the space station going, the facilities going, and our life support every week, and we would invest a certain period of time on it," said she. "Once we have more crewmembers on board, we will do so much more research."

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