State Corporation Roscosmos is returning to the practice of international launches, and the next flight will take place on April 9, 2021. NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hai will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) together with Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Petr Dubrov.
It is noted that “the change in the composition of the crew was carried out at the urgent request of the American side.”
The company said that “NASA voiced its wishes only at the end of 2020, and therefore the Russian side had to change the already agreed flight program.”
Roscosmos accepts this decision, reaffirming its commitment to joint agreements and the spirit of sharing the International Space Station. The replacement was also carried out in the backup crews of the ISS-65 Expedition. By the same decision, Roscosmos cosmonaut Dmitry Petelin was removed from the backup, and NASA astronaut Anne McClain will take his place. The flight of the Russian manned spacecraft Soyuz MS-18 under the ISS program is scheduled for April 9, 2021. The tradition of international crews, which has existed for more than twenty years, will be continued again, ”the message says.
On February 15, the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle with the Progress MS-16 cargo vehicle was launched at Baikonur.
Source site russian.rt.com