Launch News Soyuz 2.1a / Soyuz MS-18 "Gagarin flight's 60th" - Vande Hei / Novitsky / Dubrov - Baikonur - 09/04/21 [Success]

N_Molson

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Russian Federal Space Agency (ROSCOSMOS) is scheduled to launch a Soyuz 2.1a rocket as part of the Soyuz MS-18 mission. The launch window for the Human Exploration mission "Expedition 65" is on 04/09/2021 07:42 UTC from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Republic of Kazakhstan.

Launch pad : Site 31

Duration in orbit : 180 days

Callsign : "Kazbek" (from Mount Kazbek, 5000 meters tall sleeping volcano in Georgia ?)

Spacecraft : Soyuz-MS n°748 "Gagarin"

Mission patch :

180px-Soyuz-MS-18-Mission-Patch.png


High-res version

Crew from left to right : Astronaut / Flight Engineer Mark Vande Hei (NASA), Cosmonaut / Commander Oleg Novitskiy (Roscosmos), Cosmonaut / Flight Engineer Petr Dubrov (Roscosmos)

 
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Crew details

1. Commander

220px-Oleg_Novitskiy_2016.jpg


Oleg Viktorovich Novitskiy (Олег Викторович Новицкий)
Born : October 12, 1971 (age 49)
Nationality : Russian

Background : Class 2 military pilot (attack, Su-25), qualified paratrooper instructor and military diver
Awards : Hero of the Russian Federation
Rank : Lieutenant-Colonel, Russian Air Force

Flight Log and spaceflight experience

Time in Space : 340 days 10 hours 4 minutes

- Soyuz TMA-06M (Expedition 33/34)
- Soyuz MS-03 (Expedition 50/51)

2. Flight Engineer #1

220px-Expedition_64_Crew_Qualification_Exams_%28NHQ202009220003%29.jpg


Pyotr Valerievich Dubrov (Пётр Валерьевич Дубров)
Born : January 30, 1978 (age 43)
Nationality : Russian

Background : Software Engineer, civilian

No Flight Experience

3. Flight Engineer #2

220px-Mark_Vande_Hei%2C_official_portrait.jpg


Mark Thomas Vande Hei
Born : November 10, 1966 (age 54)
Nationality : American

Background : combat engineer, assistant Professor of Physics (West Point Academy), operation "Iraqi Freedom"
Rank : Colonel, United States Army, retired 2016

Flight Log and spaceflight experience

Time in Space : 168 days 5 hours 14 minutes
4 EVAs, total EVA time : 20 hours 45 minutes

- Soyuz MS-06 (Expedition 53/54)
 
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Launch went as planned :


And docking went very well too :


Launch pic :

ms18launch1.jpg


Crew arrival and welcome pic :

ms18crew.jpg
 
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