OREANDA-NEWS. The Russian launch vehicle Soyuz-2.1a with the manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-17 was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome located in Kazakhstan. Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, as well as American astronaut Kathleen Rubins, went to the International Space Station (ISS). Docking to the station is scheduled for 08:52 UTC on October 14.

The crew will spend 177 days in orbit. During this time, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov will conduct 55 scientific studies and experiments. They will also continue to search for an air leak in the module Zvezda. Cosmonauts will make two spacewalks. One of them is planned in November 2020, the second in February 2021. Both are needed for preparation for undocking and sinking of the module Pirs next year. This is necessary for docking of the new module, which will be launched in April 2021.

Currently, Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, as well as NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy are working on the ISS.