Russia Marks 60th Anniversary of Yuri Gagarin Flight

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin congratulates all the Russian rocket and space industry and related industries’ employees on Cosmonautics Day!

Russia not only looks back to the past, but also focuses on the future, while being on the verge of important changes in the space industry, Dmitry Rogozin said.

‘Today our industry is not only celebrating the anniversary and remembering the past, we also focus on the future, we are on the verge of very important changes in our industry,’ said Dmitry Rogozin.

Head of Roscosmos stressed that the Russian Federation expects transition to new rocket and space technology, the beginning of lunar research – starting with automatic stations and continued by cosmonaut crews. According to Rogozin, the space industry sees tremendous opportunities for international cooperation, while the technologies demonstrated speak in favor of the fact that ‘many people want to be friends and work with the Russian Federation’.

‘We believe in our space, in Russian space. We believe that the industry is capable of solving all the tasks set by the president and our people,’ Dmitry Rogozin added.

Head of Roscosmos also recalled that the first manned flight into space was completed despite the colossal human and material losses during the Great Patriotic War.

“This indicates that not everything is due to the circumstances, a lot depends on people, their will and professionalism, on their focus on achieving results,’ he concluded.

NASA Astronaut Mark Vande Hei, Crewmates Arrive Safely at Space Station

The Soyuz MS-18 rocket is launched with Expedition 65 NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, Roscosmos cosmonauts Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy, Friday, April 9, 2021, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and two Russian cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station Friday, bringing its number of residents to 10 for the coming week.

The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft carrying Vande Hei and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos docked to the station’s Rassvet module at 7:05 a.m. EDT. Docking occurred two orbits and about three hours after a 3:42 a.m. launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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Watch Next Space Station Crew Launch Live on Friday on NASA TV, NASA App

Expedition 65 crew members Russian cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos, left, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos, center, and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, pose for a photo during qualification exams, Saturday, March 20, 2021, at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC) in Star City, Russia, in advance of their scheduled launch April 9 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station. (Credits: NASA/GCTC/Andrey Shelepin)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — Three space travelers, including NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, are poised to launch Friday, April 9, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station. NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app will provide comprehensive prelaunch and launch-to-docking coverage.

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Indian Cosmonaut Candidates Complete Training Program in Russia

Roscosmos head Dmitry Rogozin. (Credit: A. Savin)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of the State Corporation Roscosmos, on March 22, 2021, held a meeting with Indian cosmonauts candidates who successfully completed general space training in Russia. The meeting was also attended by the Ambassador of India to the Russian Federation, Mr. D.B. Venkatesh Varma, and representatives of subsidiaries of the State Corporation Roscosmos, who took part in the training of Indian candidates for cosmonauts.

The Indian ambassador thanked Rogozin for supporting the training program for Indian cosmonauts. The contract for the training of Indian candidates for space flight between the Glavkosmos company (part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) and the Manned Space Flight Center of the Indian Space Research Organization was signed on June 27, 2019. Cosmonaut Training Center named after Yu.A. Gagarin on February 10, 2020 began the planned training of Indian astronaut candidates.

The entire process of preparation and training took place on the territory of Russia and included a number of elements necessary for future cosmonauts, such as medical and physical training, studying the Russian language, studying the design, layout and systems of the Soyuz transport manned spacecraft.

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.

Soyuz Rocket Launches 38 Satellites into Orbit

Soyuz-2.1a rocket lifts off from Baikonur with 38 satellites. (Credit: Glavkosmos webcast)

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — This morning, March 22, 2021, the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Fregat upper stage and 38 spacecraft on board was launched from the launch pad No. 31 of the Baikonur cosmodrome. 

After 1 hour and 3 minutes after the launch, the main payload was separated – the South Korean satellite for Earth remote sensing CAS500-1. At the moment, after processing telemetry information, the upper stage has successfully completed all stages of the program for placing the remaining 37 spacecraft into target orbits.

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Russia’s Angara Rocket Prepares for Mass Production

The central core of an Angara launcher. (Credit: Roscosmos)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — The new production facilities of the Khrunichev Center (part of the Roscosmos State Corporation) will make it possible to produce up to ten missiles of the Angara family per year. In two cities of Russia, large-scale preparations are underway for the start of the serial production of missiles of this family. More details about the strategy and principles of organizing production, delimiting areas of responsibility between sites, the near and medium-term prospects of the heavy and light version of Angara.

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Scrubbed Soyuz Launch Rescheduled for Monday

Soyuz 2 rocket on the launch pad.

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — At the Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 20, 2021, a meeting of the commission was held, during which the results of tests of the Soyuz-2.1a space rocket were considered after a technical malfunction revealed this morning. After hearing the reports of the work supervisors, the members of the commission decided to launch the launch on the morning of Monday, March 22, 2021.

Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of the State Corporation Roscosmos : “At Baikonur, the State Commission decided to repeat on March 21 the checks of the Launch Readiness Control Set (LCC) mode of the Fregat upper stage. If the results of the KNSG regime are positive, the launch is scheduled for Monday, March 22.”

As part of the first commercial launch of the Glavkosmos Launch Services, the South Korean spacecraft for remote sensing of the Earth CAS500-1, the apparatus for removing space debris ELSA-d and satellites for remote sensing of the Earth GRUS from Japan, a small spacecraft of Saudi Arabia for Earth imaging and communications NAJM-1, communications satellites of the Technical University of Berlin.

In addition, the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage will launch the first satellite of the Higher School of Economics ERS, the CubeSat of the Sirius Educational Center and the Higher School of Economics, as well as the Orbikraft-Zorky satellite of the Russian company Sputniks and others. A total of 38 spacecraft from 18 countries will be launched into orbit.

Soyuz-2 to Launch 38 Spacecraft from 18 Countries on March 20

Soyuz-2 rocket lifts off from the Vostochny Cosmodrome with 36 OneWeb satellites. (Credit: Arianespace)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — On March 20, a launch of the Soyuz-2 launch vehicle with the Fregat upper stage is scheduled from the Baikonur Cosmodrome that will deliver 38 spacecraft (SC) from 18 countries into three sun-synchronous orbits:

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Russian Cosmonauts Patch Cracks in Space Station’s Zvezda Module

The International Space Station, photographed by ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli following the undocking of his Soyuz-TMA on 23 May 2011. (Credit: ESA/NASA)

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Russian ISS-64 long-term expedition crewmembers have completed the repair works in the Zvezda service module of the Russian segment of the International Space Station.

According to RSC Energia press service, “the International Space Station crew has completed the repair works of the Zvezda module hull. In the coming days Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov will close the Zvezda module hatches to perform pressure level checks.”

All the works are conducted under the supervision of the ISS Russian Segment Chief Operation Control Group and RSC Energia specialists.

Currently, the 64th long-term expedition crew is working on board the International Space Station. The crew consists of Roscosmos cosmonauts Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov, as well as NASA astronauts Kathleen Rubins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi.

Russia, China Sign MOU on Creating International Lunar Station

MOSCOW (Roscosmos PR) — Dmitry Rogozin, General Director of Roscosmos State Corporation, and Kejian Zhang, Head of the China National Space Administration, on March 9, 2021, by videoconference, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of the governments of Russia and China between the Government of the People’s Republic of China and the Government of the Russian Federation on cooperation in the creation of the International Scientific Lunar station (MNLS).

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NASA Assigns Astronaut Mark Vande Hei to Fly to Space Station on Russian Soyuz Spacecraft

Mark Vande Hei (Credit: NASA)

HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA has assigned astronaut Mark Vande Hei to an upcoming mission to the International Space Station as a flight engineer and member of the Expedition 64/65 crew. Vande Hei, along with cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, are scheduled to launch Friday, April 9, on the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

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20 Years of Plasma Research on ISS Advance Understanding of Physics, Crystals

The PK-4 plasma crystal laboratory. (Credit: MPE)
  • The plasma crystal experiments are one of the first and most successful research projects on the ISS.
  • The first long-term tests under weightlessness started on March 3, 2001: They provide insights into physical processes at the atomic level.
  • ISS astronauts are always part of the plasma research team, including Thomas Reiter during his Astrolab mission.
  • From 22-29. The next experiments on board the ISS will run on March 2021.

COLOGNE, Germany (DLR) — For 20 years they have been a reliable source of new insights into physics: the plasma crystal experiments on board the International Space Station ISS. Basic knowledge for the textbooks of the future is the main goal of this research. Various applications can be derived from the knowledge gained, in particular in the fields of medicine, environmental protection, space travel as well as semiconductor and microchip technologies. 

By means of technology transfers, plasma research also opens up new fields of application, based for example on the development of miniaturized laboratory systems suitable for space travel. The first ISS crew already had plasma research on their agenda and on March 3, 2001 the starting shot was given for the first long-term tests under weightlessness. The current crew will now carry out the latest series of experiments at the end of March.

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