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Roscosmos launches Soyuz MS-22

Spacecraft docked with the space station with two Russians and an American Astronaut

Cosmonauts and astronauts gather aboard the station

The Soyuz-2.1a rocket with the Soyuz MS-22 spacecraft carrying the 68th expedition to the International Space Station successfully took off on September 21, 2022 at 16:54:49 Moscow time (09:54:49.531 EDT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The main crew of the spacecraft (11F732A48 #751) is made up of Commander Sergei Prokopiev, Flight Engineer-1 Dmitry Petelin, a native of Kazakhstan – Roscosmos – and Flight Engineer-2 Frank Rubio, from NASA. After a standard three-hour flight, the spacecraft docked with the Russian module Rassvet.

Soyuz MS-22 on final approach with Rassvet module passive coupling

The Soyuz docked with Rassvet at around 1:11 pm EDT (1711 UTC) after a two-orbit flight. About two hours after docking, the hatches between the Soyuz and the space station officially opened at 3:34 pm EDT. The arrival of three new crew members to the seven existing people aboard Expedition 67 temporarily increases the station's population to ten. Astronaut Rubio and cosmonauts Prokopyev and Petelin joined Expedition 67 – Commander Oleg Artemyev, Roscosmos cosmonauts Denis Matveev and Sergey Korsakov, NASA astronauts Bob Hines, Kjell Lindgren and Jessica Watkins, and European Space Agency astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti. Rubio, Prokopyev and Petelin will spend six months aboard the orbiting laboratory.

Soyuz MS-22 delivered to the ISS sanitary and hygienic supplies and medical control, on-board documentation and consumable items for service equipment, clothing and personal belongings of the cosmonauts, rations and fresh food, as well as packaging for experiments the Econ-M scientists, Biofilm, Interaction-2, Biomag-M, MSK-2, FAGEN, Cardiovector, Cytomechanarium and Reflex. The first experiments with the Russian 3D printer will be brought to Earth by the crew of the Soyuz MS-21.

Expedition 67 astronauts – Hines, Lindgren, Watkins and Cristoforetti have been aboard since their arrival in April on the SpaceX Dragon Crew-4 Freedom . Freedom and her crew are currently planning to return in early to mid-October.

MS-22 Crew

MS-22 Crew

Cosmonaut Prokopiev said he would take his daughter's jewelry and grandson's cross with him on the flight to remind him of his family as he works at the station. "First of all, these are my daughter's jewelry and my grandson's cross, these are the things that will warm my heart," Prokopiev told a news conference. Prokopiev was born on February 19, 1975 and became a grandfather in 2021. He clarified that crews often carry personal belongings, photos of friends and relatives. His crewmate Dmitry Petelin decided to take his eldest daughter's drawings with him, as well as a talisman that her grandfather used in World War II. American astronaut Rubio takes family photos and small objects of his children that “will be a nice gift” when he returns home.

Homage to the pioneer Tsiolkovsky

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