Russia Names Next Soyuz Transport After Yuri Gagarin as 60th Anniversary of History Flight Approaches

Yuri Gagarin

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The Soyuz MS-18 manned transport spacecraft, which is currently undergoing prelaunch preparation under the program for the delivery of members of the 65th main expedition to the International Space Station, received its own name Yuri A. Gagarin.

In accordance with the work schedule, the launch of the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle with the Soyuz MS-18 manned spacecraft is scheduled for April 9, 2021, three days before the 60th anniversary of the first manned flight into space. According to the established tradition, the space mission closest to this significant date is dedicated to the first cosmonaut of the planet Yuri Alekseevich Gagarin, whose name already adorns the surface of the screen-vacuum thermal insulation of the ship’s household compartment. In addition, the official symbols of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s flight in space will be placed on the launch vehicle’s nose cone.

The previous launch of the Yuri Gagarin spacecraft of the Soyuz-TMA series, which took place on April 5, 2011, was timed to coincide with the half-century anniversary of the beginning of the practical development of manned astronautics.