Posted: 06.03.2024 15:42:41

VE-21 crew shared impressions before departure for 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. 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.

Oleg Novitsky stated that it is a special responsibility when the beautiful half of humanity is present in the crew, “As a commander and a man, I feel great. The crew is extremely reliable and very beautiful. Also, on the eve of March 8th, I congratulate all the ladies, I wish that all the women in the world had the same mood as the girls in my crew when we fly into space.”

NASA astronaut Tracy Dyson noted she was glad to be part of the crew, “I am proud that I was trained at the Gagarin Research and Test Cosmonaut Centre. The cosmonaut and astronaut training here is excellent. I'm glad to represent NASA on this mission.”

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.