Spaceflight Insider

Russian-American Soyuz MS-22 crew arrives at Space Station

Soyuz MS-22 launches atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Bill Ingalls / NASA

Soyuz MS-22 launches atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Credit: Bill Ingalls / NASA

Three new crew members arrived at the International Space Station following their launch in Soyuz MS-22 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Russian cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitry Petelin, and NASA astronaut Frank Rubio launched at 9:54 p.m. EDT (13:54 UTC) Sept. 21, 2022. They reached orbit less than 10 minutes later to begin a three-hour chase of the ISS.

Soyuz MS-22 docked with the Earth-facing port of the Rassvet module at 1:06 p.m. EDT (17:06 UTC). After several hours of leak checks, the trio entered the space station to begin their six-month stay aboard the orbiting outpost.

The launch of Soyuz MS-22 as seen from the International Space Station. Credit: Samantha Cristoforetti / ESA

The launch of Soyuz MS-22 as seen from the International Space Station. Credit: Samantha Cristoforetti / ESA

This is the first mission part of the Russia-United States crew swap program which will see American astronauts flying on Soyuz and Russian cosmonauts flying on commercial crew spacecraft.

This particular mission saw Rubio fly in a Soyuz spacecraft while Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina is slated to launch a couple weeks from now aboard SpaceX’s Crew-5 mission to the ISS.

Prokopyev, Petelin and Rubio are replacing the Soyuz MS-21 crew — Russian cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev, Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov — who have been aboard the ISS since March as part of Expedition 67.

Soyuz MS-22 approaches the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Soyuz MS-22 approaches the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

When Soyuz MS-21 leaves the ISS (currently scheduled for Sept. 29), Expedition 67 will formally end and Expedition 68 will begin.

Also aboard the outpost are the astronauts of Crew-4 — NASA’s Kjell Lindgren, Bob Hines and Jessica Watkins, and the European Space Agency’s Samantha Cristoforetti. They have been in space since late April and are slated to return to Earth about a week after Crew-5 arrives at the ISS.

Crew-5 is currently slated to launch at 12:45 p.m. EDT (16:45 UTC) Oct. 3 aboard Crew Dragon Endurance. Aboard will be NASA’s Nicole Mann and Josh Cassada, Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata and Russia’s Kikina. Docking is slated for about a day after launch.

Video courtesy of SciNews

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Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a website about human spaceflight called Orbital Velocity.

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