Friday, September 30, 2016 Headlines & Global News

Russia’s comeback in new 'space race' thanks to 'Soyuz MS-02' mission; Russian ISS crew numbers decreased

Russia proved to be one of the staunchest rivals of the US during the 'space wars' of the 1960s to 1970s. Today, Russia is still pretty much alive in its outer space presence. But recent statements suggest that Russia is cutting back the number of cosmonauts it is sending to the ISS. Is it a good thing for Russia, or a bad thing?

By Jose Mari Franz Teves | Sep 23, 2016 12:21 AM EDT

Space Shuttle Discovery Continues On Its Last Mission
IN SPACE - MARCH 7: In this handout image provided by NASA, the International Space Station is seen from the space shuttle Discovery as the two orbital spacecraft accomplish their relative separation after an aggregate of 12 astronauts and cosmonauts worked together for over a week during flight day 12 activities March 7, 2011 in Space. Discovery, on its 39th and final flight, is carrying the Italian-built Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM), Express Logistics Carrier 4 (ELC4) and Robonaut 2, the first humanoid robot in space to the International Space Station. Discovery was in service for 27 years and will be decommissioned and sent to a museum. Two remaining shuttle missions are planned before the program ends. (Photo : NASA via Getty Images)


Just recently, the Russian Federation has stated that it will launch the crewed flight mission to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard the Soyuz MS-02 on November 1. However, things are not looking too good for the Russian space agency as it just announced that the number of cosmonauts in the ISS will be decreased from three cosmonauts to only one.

The two new announcements have caused the rescheduling of its own space flight programs. The Soyuz MS-02 mission was originally set for a September 23 launch.

Technical Problems Ensure on Russian Soyuz Program

However, due to technical issues regarding a short circuit on one of the spaceship's parts, it was forced to face a delay. The Soyuz MS-02 is an upgraded version of the original Soyuz MS spacecraft, and will be the second of its many more missions to come.

The Soyuz MS-02 will be launched by the Soyuz-FG rocket in Kazakhstan, under the responsibility of the Baikonur Cosmodrome. It will transport three crew members to the International Space Station under the Expedition 49 banner. The three crew members are Shane Kimbrough, a NASA astronaut, and two other Russian cosmonauts in the likes of Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrei Borisenko.

The Big Three Space Men

Last September 8, the three crew members underwent its final briefings and preparations before the launch date. But due to the unforeseen delays, the three spacemen returned back to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center to wait for the postponed launching and instead get back to further training.

Based on one of the sources of TASS, "In case the endorsed schedule is observed and the MLM gets into operation in December 2017, the curtailment will affect only one Russian crew. Otherwise, the practice of curtailment will continue until the commissioning of the module."

Hopefully, things will turn out well for the upcoming Soyuz rocket launch, as these missions, however small they are, are all significant in supporting humanity's cause for furthering our reaches in outer space.

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