Thanks to Russian Soyuz once again, another Russian cosmonaut, American astronaut, and Japanese space traveler rendezvoused with the International Space Station (ISS) this Thursday. This came following a smooth lift off from the Russian launch facility in Kazakhstan 5 hours and 45 minutes earlier, on the previous Wednesday, 2102 GMT.
After takeoff, the rocket achieved orbit roughly fifteen minutes post-launch, orbiting the planet four times before it approached the space station.
THIS TIME WE’VE SENT HUMANS
Contained in the Russian Soyuz capsule were the Russian Oleg Kononenko, Kimiya Yui from Japan, and NASA’s Kjell Lindgren. For Lindgren and Yui, this was their first time. During a press conference preceding the flight upon the Russian Soyuz, Yui informed interested parties that he’s bringing sushi with him to share with the other space travelers upon his arrival.
SUSHI RENDEZVOUS TO ENSUE ON RUSSIAN SOYUZ
These new additions to the ISS join the already present crew: Gennady Padalka, Mikhail Kornienko and Scott Kelly. Mikhail and Scott are four months in to what will have been an almost year-long mission in the ISS.
This successful Russian Soyuz launch and rendezvous with the ISS is actually the tail end of a two-month delay following a failed launch of an unmanned Russian cargo ship in April. Some system failures are always to be expected, but the Russians became concerned enough to forestall future launches pending a reassessment of their rocket design. This had left the already present crew mentioned shortly above (Padalka, Kornienko and Kelly) stuck in space with dwindling supplies until a second Russian cargo ship launched successfully earlier this July.
This year, it seems the Russian Space program is in better standing when it comes to orbital flights. The last Russian cargo ship successfully launched also followed the failed launch of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket , which exploded roughly 3 minutes after launch. SpaceX has since come to believe the explosion was caused by a steel strut holding down a bottle of high-pressure helium.
Of course it’s unfortunate that three major space programs, one private and two national, happened to experience such catastrophic failures in the same few months, but with three new astronauts safely aboard the ISS, we can rest assured human space ventures will continue unheeded.