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Soyuz MS-19 blasts off atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket. Image Credit: NASA TV.

Soyuz MS-19 launches to the International Space Station

The Soyuz MS-19 spacecraft and its three-person crew, consisting of veteran cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov, actress Yulia Peresild and movie director Klim Shipenko, successfully blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Russian Soyuz 2.1a rocket, beginning their trip to the ISS. Launch of the three-stage, medium-lift launch vehicle occurred at 08:55 UTC / 13:55 QYZT (local time) and the Soyuz carried the crewed Soyuz into a low Earth orbit.

Over the next couple of hours, Soyuz MS-19 will raise its orbit and will rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS). Docking to the Earth-facing docking port of the station’s Rassvet module is scheduled to occur at 12:12 UTC. Ahead of the spacecraft’s arrival, the Soyuz MS-18 was relocated by its crew on September 28, from Rassvet to the Russian Nauka laboratory module, to free the port for Soyuz MS-19.

Once onboard the ISS, Yulia Peresild and Klim Shipenko will shoot several scenes for the Russian movie “The Challenge”, which will also involve the cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Pyotr Dubrov and Oleg Novitskiy as actors.

While Shkaplerov will remain onboard the orbital laboratory for several months until March 2022, Peresild and Shipenko will return back to the planet after about 12 days in space. The two will depart the station on October 17 onboard Soyuz MS-18, together with the spacecraft’s commander Oleg Novitskiy. The other two members of Novitskiy’s crew, cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, will return to Earth in March with Soyuz MS-19.

Soyuz MS-19 blasts off atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket. Image Credit: NASA TV.
Soyuz MS-19 blasts off atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket. Image Credit: NASA TV.

Sources:

https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/2021/10/05/russian-trio-in-orbit-racing-to-station-this-morning/

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