Posted: 26.03.2024 10:24:00

Crew of Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft held communication session with Earth

On March 25th, relatives, guests and journalists from several countries gathered at the Main Flight Control Room of the Russian segment of the ISS in the Mission Control Centre near Moscow to watch the successful docking of the Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft to the Prichal module, the opening of hatches and its crew’s entering the International Space Station. Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky, space flight participant from Belarus Marina Vasilevskaya and NASA astronaut Tracy Dyson were greeted with joy by the station crew.

Five minutes later, a long-awaited live picture featuring Oleg Novitsky, Marina Vasilevskaya and Tracy Dyson appeared on the Mission Control Centre screen. The cosmonauts were smiling and waving to all those present at the ISS.

Ivan Bucha, the Deputy Head of the Aerospace Activities Department at Belarus’ National Academy of Sciences, greeted the crew, “Hello, friends! I am very glad to see you smiling and beautiful. You are great, you have done a great job, and you are in front of us now with such nice and beautiful faces. I wish that your stay at the station is comfortable and useful, you enjoy it and make new acquaintances. You have a friendly and beautiful team, well done! Marina, your Belarusian flag at the ISS is a great pride. We have done it! We will be looking forward to seeing you, all the best to you!”

“Ivan Nikolaevich, I am happy that Belarus has safely reached the ISS,” the first Belarusian female cosmonaut, Marina Vasilevskaya, said. “It took us two days to get there, but our mood is amazing. I really liked everything, passing through the thorns to the stars. We feel great, we love you very much, and we hug you. Thank you for supporting us, we are very pleased. This is a new incentive for us.”

“I am very glad that you have reached the ISS,” understudy Anastasia Lenkova added. “I congratulate you, you have opened the door for Belarus to space exploration. I wish you productive work. The whole of Belarus is with you, we are proud of you!”

“Do you hear us? We see all of you,” Oleg Novitsky joined in. “We are glad that you have gathered to cheer for us. I hope you have been waiting not for a long time.”

“Why haven’t you taken tigers with you?” Oleg addressed his friends, the Zapashny brothers who are well known circus animal tamers.

“Congratulations on your arrival at the station, this is a historic event,” the brothers replied. “We wish you all a pleasant and useful time.”

For the first time in two days, relatives and friends could not only see but also talk with the cosmonauts. Oleg Novitsky's friends and his eldest daughter were looking forward to the communication session with Earth. “Hello, everyone,” Yana said happily. “We are very glad that you have finally reached your final point. We were very worried about you. We are very happy to see you.”

The crew of the 21st visiting expedition will spend twelve days at the ISS, and the cosmonauts have a common task: to implement the space flight programme, its scientific experiments and work on board the station.

Oleg Novitsky, Marina Vasilevskaya, as well as NASA astronaut Loral O'Hara (who has been at the station since September 15th, 2023), will return from their space trip on the Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft on April 6th, 2024.