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Joint Russian-US crew blasts off to International Space Station

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Ahead of the launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the crew, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Russian Federation and Kate Rubins of the United States, spent more than a month in precautionary quarantine and were tested for the coronavirus several times.

Despite the historic event last May, thanks to SpaceX, who sent astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley to the ISS, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins is still set this week to go to the ISS from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz rocket of Russian Federation. "The total time from launch to docking of the Soyuz MS-17 was 3 hours and 3 minutes", it added.

"This two-orbit rendezvous has been modeled for quite awhile now". "We will be reaching the station a lot sooner than we have reached Baikonur coming out from Moscow".

This is cosmonaut Kud-Sverchkov's first flight into space and he is Flight Engineer 1.

Wednesday's mission is the last scheduled Russian flight carrying a USA crew member.

Rubins' flight from Soyuz takes place at a time when NASA's human space flight program is transitioning.

Once the crew successfully docks with the ISS, they will relieve the station's NASA commander, Chris Cassidy, and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who will return to Earth next week.

"We plan to try some really interesting things like bio-printing tissues and cells growing in space, and, of course, continue our work on sorting DNA", Rubinz said. The trio is heading for the base about a month before SpaceX's next crew dragon launch, which will carry another four astronauts on the ISS in mid-November.

NASA's Kate Rubins (left), and cosmonauts Ryzhikov (center) and Kud-Sverchkov (right). The three could also be at the station for the first docking for an unblemished or rabital flight test by the Boeing CST-100 Starliner spacecraft, which is targeted for early 2021.

"We don't get to choose our launch date or what occurs on station but certainly I feel incredibly lucky to be on station when.these events are happening", said the American astronaut, who was celebrating her 42nd birthday on Wednesday.

That does not mean, though, that NASA astronauts will never fly on Soyuz spacecraft again.

More than 150 professional rescuers, an air squadron of eight Mi-8 helicopters, three An-26 planes and one An-12 plane, as well as 18 vehicles, were engaged before the Soyuz MS-17 took off. NASA had also mentioned before the crewed space-craft made its journey to the space station, the ultrafast method has been tested before using uncrewed Progress resupply spacecraft. In-flight abortion in 2018.

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