The new crew members arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday, two days later than the original plan. The delay was caused by the fact that the automatics of the ship canceled the intended maneuver towards the station.
Flights to the ISS under the short schedule, which takes 6 hours, were successfully carried out by Russian ships for about a year. However, this time a slight deviation of the trajectory of the ship led to the fact that computer systems canceled the launch of maneuvering engines.
According to NASA employee Rob Navias, a commentator on the mission, a preliminary analysis revealed a 1 degree deviation from the course. Because of this, the ship switched to a standard two-day flight scheme. Astronauts Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, as well as NASA astronaut Stephen Swanson, started from the Baikonur cosmodrome on Wednesday, at 01:17 Moscow time. It was expected that the flight would end in 6 hours. However, the docking took place only on Friday, at 03:53 h. “Well, better late than never,” said Navias after the ship arrived at the station.
New crew members to spend six months in orbit. They joined the mission commander Koichi Wakata, the flight engineers Riku Mastrakkio and Mikhail Tjurin, who have been working on the ISS since November last year.