Today, on April 9, 2021, at 10.42 am Moscow time, the Russian Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the manned spacecraft Y. A. Gagarin (Soyuz MS-18) was launched from the launchpad No. 31 of the Baikonur cosmodrome, the press service of the ‘Roscosmos’ State Space Corporation reports.
The Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle launched the spacecraft into orbit with the following parameters:
- the minimum height above the Earth’s surface is 199.75 km;
- the maximum height above the Earth’s surface is 242.79 km;
- the circulation period is 88.64 minutes;
- the inclination is 51.67 degrees.
It is noted that onboard the International Space Station Oleg Novitsky, Pyotr Dubrov, and Mark Vande Hei will be met by Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, as well as NASA astronauts Kathleen Rubins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi.
Currently, the spacecraft is flying normally and the crew is in good condition, according to the General Director of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin. It is specified that the flight to the ISS takes about three hours, so docking to the Rassvet module was planned at 2.07 pm Moscow time. Cosmonauts have even already sent pictures of the nice views. The ship docking broadcast watch on the official website of Roscosmos.
It is also mentioned that in connection with the upcoming holiday, Cosmonautics Day, the head fairing of the launch vehicle is decorated with the portrait of Yuri Gagarin and the official symbols of the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the flight of the first man into space.
Ru-Main, 09.04.2021, Picture: Roscosmos Official Website