Expedition 49 launched Soyuz MS-02 to begin its two-day skyward trek heading towards the International Space Station. On October 19 at 4:05 a.m. the spacecraft launched with the three Expedition 49 members.
The Soyuz MS-02 with Andrey Borisenko, a flight engineer from Roscosmos, Shane Kimbrough, one of NASA's flight engineers and Sergey Ryzhikov, Expedition 49 Soyuz commander also from Roscosmos is expected to arrive its destination on Friday, Oct. 21 and have its Poisk module dock at exactly 5:59 a.m, according to NASA.
Three other Expedition 49 members are waiting to welcome the team on board at International Space Station. They are Anatoli Ivanishin, Expedition 49 commander from Roscosmos, Takuya Onishi, a flight engineer from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Kate Rubins, a flight engineer from NASA.
Together, the six Expedition 49 members will be on a four-month mission. They are expected to conduct 250 science investigations covering the fields of physical sciences, human research, Earth science, biology and technology development. The voyagers are expected to return to be back on Earth by February of 2017.
Expedition 49 originally planned to execute the operation on Sept. 23. Due to a burned cable inside the spacecraft, it was rescheduled to Nov. 1 to make way for some repairs and clearing operations. A few weeks ago it was finally given the Oct. 19 final departure schedule after the problem causing landing system cable was discovered and repaired.
Soyuz MS-02 was powered by RD-108A engine from core stage. It was supported by four boosters each fitted with RD-107A engines. The said boosters helped the spacecraft achieve a 3,350 mph velocity and were detached after about two minutes from lift off.
Four minutes and 45 seconds after the launch, the core stage was shut down leaving the spacecraft powered by the RD-0110 engine alone. This gave way for the Soyuz MS-02 to be released into the orbit. From then the control on the mission was transferred to Mission Control Center near Moscow, The Space Flight Insider reported.
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