All the Russian astronaut crew went to the International Space Station

Astronauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov were launched into the Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft from ET at 11:55 a.m. from the Pygmy Cosmodrome launch pad in Kazakhstan. The crew’s launch and voyage to the space station, which will be broadcast live on NASA in just over three hours. Website.

This is the first space flight for Madhviv and Korsakov, and the trio will spend the next six and a half months on the space station.

The astronauts manually maneuvered Soyuz by connecting to the space station and were successfully connected at 3:12 p.m. The hatch opened at 5:48 pm ET and was welcomed on the ISS by two Russian astronauts, four NASA astronauts and one European Space Agency astronaut. The crew were all smiling and embracing each other after floating through the hatch.

Thus the number of employees of the station has increased to 10.

Typically, Russian Soyuz launches are due to a group transfer agreement between two astronauts and at least one NASA astronaut or another international partner, the Russian space agency Roscosmos and other companies.

This is not the first time all Russian missions have taken place – a Russian crew flew to the station in October to shoot the first film in space.

Russian crew film in space and return safely to Earth

Although this astronaut launch takes place at a time of rising geopolitical tensions, the lack of involvement of other countries is coincidental and is based on a pre-agreement between NASA and Roscosmos for a delayed crew relocation for future missions in 2022.

“We still plan to relocate the crew,” Joel Montalbano, manager of NASA’s International Space Station program, told a news conference Monday. “So we plan to train more with Rogosmos Houston, Hawthorne and our team to go to Star City and train with Soyuz.

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“As for the relationship with the White House – they know we’re continuing these activities. We have questions from time to time, we answered them, but today we are pursuing those deals.”

The astronauts took off on a Soyuz MS-21 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad in Kazakhstan.

Montalfano did not respond to a question about extending the ISS alliance with Russia until 2030.

When asked if the current tensions on Earth translate to the crew at the space station, Montalbano said, “When you are in space, there are no boundaries. You do not see country lines or state lines.”

“Teams are constantly working together. Do they know what’s going on on Earth? Of course. Astronauts and astronauts are some of the most professional teams you’ll ever seen.

Returning to Earth

On March 30, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hey will return to Earth with Russian astronauts Anton Skoplerov and Pyotr Dubrov.

Vande Hai, launched to the ISS in April 2021 – broke NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s record of 340 days in space on March 15, and when he landed in Kazakhstan, he would have set a new record for one man’s time. Spent in space: 355 days.

Despite mounting geopolitical tensions, the space agency on Monday sought to reaffirm its commitment to working more closely with the Russian space agency Rocosmos on the International Space Station.

According to Montalbanov, the joint venture between NASA and Roscosmos “continues to improve” at Russian facilities in Pyongyang, Kazakhstan. “I can say for sure Mark [Vande Hei] “I’m coming home,” Montalbano said Monday on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft.

'Of course' on the American Russian rocket at the International Space Station

NASA officials have not said whether there will be any significant changes in plans to bring Vande Hai back to the United States after landing. Like other American astronauts in front of him, he will fly home by Gulf jet.

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For nearly a decade, Russia’s Soyuz vehicles were the only means of transporting astronauts to and from the space station. That credibility came to an end after SpaceX launched its Crew Dragon capsule in 2020, and the United States regained its ability to travel in human spaceflight.

When asked by CNN’s Christine Fisher Montalbano if the US-Russia relationship could deteriorate further, he said: “The International Space Station, I tell you, is a prime example of international cooperation. That’s why we are able to act, how we are acting … at this time there is no indication that our Russian allies want to do anything else. So we plan to continue operations as we do today. “

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