Crew Relocates Russian Soyuz Spacecraft to Different Port

The Soyuz MS-13 crew ship
The Soyuz MS-13 crew ship is pictured docked the International Space Station’s Poisk module after successfully completing its relocation maneuver.

At 11:59 p.m. EDT, the Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft with three Expedition 60 members inside successfully docked to the International Space Station’s Poisk module. The crew of Alexander Skvortsov of Roscosmos, Luca Parmitano of ESA (European Space Agency) and Andrew Morgan of NASA began the relocation maneuver when they undocked from the aft port of the station’s Zvezda module at 11:35 p.m.

Skvortsov flew the spacecraft, backing about 124 feet (38 meters) away from the space station before completing a roll maneuver to take them to the Poisk module for the manual docking.

The move frees the port for an uncrewed Soyuz MS-14 that currently is on a safe trajectory above and behind the space station to execute a second docking attempt Monday night to the Zvezda port. The so-called KURS automated rendezvous system has been tested and is in perfect working order. NASA TV coverage of the docking Monday night will begin at 10:30 p.m. with docking scheduled at 11:12 p.m.

The uncrewed Soyuz launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Aug. 21 on a test flight to validate the spacecraft’s compatibility with a revamped Soyuz booster rocket. The spacecraft will deliver 1,450 pounds of cargo to the Expedition 60 crew.

The last relocation of a Soyuz was in August 2015 when Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos and NASA’s Scott Kelly conducted a similar operation, but in reverse, flying their Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from Poisk to Zvezda.

Learn more about station activities by following the space station blog, @space_station and @ISS_Research on Twitter as well as the ISS Facebook and ISS Instagram accounts.

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