Posted: 06.03.2024 14:11:27

Belarusian cosmonauts as part of VE-21 crews headed to Baikonur Cosmodrome

On March 6th, the crew of ISS-71/VE-21 was solemnly escorted to the Baikonur Cosmodrome at the Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Centre in Zvyozdny Gorodok near Moscow. As part of the 21st expedition to the International Space Station (ISS), there are two Belarusians at once – participants of the space flight Marina Vasilevskaya and Anastasia Lenkova. Earlier, they successfully passed comprehensive exam training together with VE-21 Commander Oleg Novitsky, NASA astronaut Tracy Dyson, Soyuz MS Commander Ivan Vagner and ISS flight engineer Donald Pettit from the United States.

Commander of the Soyuz MS-25, Commander of VE- 21 Oleg Novitsky noted that the mood is very good, “The administration wished us regular work. We were glad to see that before departure many people came to the gala breakfast. We expressed our gratitude for the preparation and warm send-off.”

“The administration also wished good luck and success so that the main crew would start according to plan. We are ready to fly and we will do our best and even more! I couldn't have dreamed of a better crew,” Marina Vasilevskaya, a participant in the VE-21 space flight, added.

Their relatives and friends also accompanied the crew to Baikonur. Now the contacts of the crew will be considerably narrowed, and after its departure to Baikonur, the space six will start a period of observation.

Two weeks later, on March 21st, the crew will fly into space on the Soyuz MS-25 manned transport spacecraft. The duration of work in orbit is 12 days. The programme is short, but quite intense. During the VE-21, it is planned to perform eight experiments – targeted works, four of them are new ones.