Uncrewed Soyuz Rocket Launches on Two-Day Trip to Station

The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft lifts off
The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Aug. 21

The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft launched at 11:38 p.m. EDT (8:38 a.m. Aug. 22 Baikonur time) from Site 31 at the Cosmodrome on a Soyuz 2.1a booster, which has been used recently to launch uncrewed Russian Progress cargo resupply missions to the space station.

The Soyuz 2.1a booster, equipped with a new digital flight control system and upgraded engines, is replacing the Soyuz FG booster that has been used for decades to launch crews into space. The Soyuz spacecraft will have an upgraded motion control and navigation system, as well as a revamped descent control system.

Instead of crew members, the Soyuz will carry 1,450 pounds of cargo to the Expedition 60 crew currently residing on the orbital outpost.

The Soyuz will navigate to station for an automated docking on the space-facing Poisk module on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 1:30 a.m.  After a two-week stay at the station, the Soyuz will be commanded to undock from the station on Friday, Sept. 6, at 2:13 p.m.

NASA TV coverage of the docking, and undocking activities is as follows:

Saturday, Aug. 24:

  • 12:45 a.m. – Docking coverage (docking scheduled for 1:30 a.m.)

Friday, Sept. 6:

  • 1:45 p.m. – Undocking coverage (undocking scheduled for 2:13 p.m.)

2 thoughts on “Uncrewed Soyuz Rocket Launches on Two-Day Trip to Station”

    1. There are two Soyuz spacecraft currently at the station and each Soyuz can carry no more than 3 crewmembers. Placing three crewmates in the Soyuz is a safety precaution since the spacecraft can also be used as a lifeboat to return the crew to Earth in case of an emergency.

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