Russian Union rocket successfully entered orbit
The Soyuz rocket with the Russian, American and Canadian astronauts launched from Kazakhstan and went into orbit on December 3. This is the first manned mission after a failed launch in October. Oleg Kononenko (Russia), McClain Ann Charlotte (USA) and David Saint-Jacques (Canada) will spend 6.5 months at the orbital station.
A few minutes after the launch of the rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome, the Russian space agency confirmed that the capsule had successfully entered orbit. The flight lasts 6 hours. Recall that this is the first manned launch of the Soyuz spacecraft on October 11, when a rocket with two astronauts went down and had to perform an emergency landing.
Oleg Kononenko (Russia), McClain Ann Charlotte (USA) and David Saint-Jacques (Canada) say that risk is just part of their work
The Soyuz spacecraft is the only means of exiting to the ISS since the United States fired the space shuttle program in 2011. The astronauts at the press conference smiled and said that they completely trusted the team preparing them for the flight.
Risk - “part of our profession”
Astronauts understand that their work faces danger, but trust is the key to a successful mission. McClain also eagerly awaited the flight and reported 100% readiness.
Rocket Union crashed a few minutes after launch in October
The failed October launch in a sense became a useful event, as it confirmed the functionality of the rescue system developed back in the USSR, and also tested the work of rescue teams. The rehearsal on November 16 conducted a successful launch from the Baikonur cosmodrome, when several tons of food, fuel and materials were delivered to the ISS.
Last month, Russian officials said the cause of the missile launch was damage to the sensor during assembly at the cosmodrome. But they insisted that this did not affect the reliability of the Union missiles as a whole.
For Kononenko, this flight will be the fourth mission, but the rest of the crew will fly for the first time. Alexander Gerst, Sergey Prokopiev and Serina Aunon-Chancellor will meet them onboard the ISS. On December 11, a hole should be checked that caused air leaks to the ISS in the summer. Astronauts go into space for 6.5 months, and Saint-Jacques is preparing to become the first Canadian astronaut on the ISS since the flight of Christopher Hadfield, who recorded the song “Space Oddity” on board in 2013. The Canadian astronaut will take part in the experiment “At Home in Space”, where the process of adaptation of crew members to life in space and with each other is studied.
“Space walk like rugby”
McClain served in Iraq and represented America in women's rugby. She says that outdoor space training is like a sport because it requires maximum concentration and physical endurance.
Russian-American cooperation in space remains one of the few areas untouched by the crisis and sanctions. However, the recent joke of Dmitry Rogozin forced some to recall the period of the Cold War. He said that Russia will send a mission to the moon to see if NASA made its famous Apollo landings.