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Preparations Continue at Baikonur for Japanese Billionaire’s Launch to International Space Station

By Doug Messier
Parabolic Arc
December 6, 2021
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Spaceflight participant Yozo Hiro, Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and spaceflight participant Yusaku Maezawa. (Credit: Roscosmos)

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan (Roscosmos PR) — Baikonur Cosmodrome continues preparations for launching the Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with the Soyuz MS-20 crewed spacecraft. On the previous day, the Soyuz-2.1a/Soyuz MS-20 rocket was rolled out to the Site 31 launchpad (‘Vostok’), after which Roscosmos specialists conducted work on the L-3 day schedule, no issues were revealed.

On Monday, preparation for the crewed launch will continue. According to the L-2 day schedule, technological prelaunch preparation mode continues with telemetry data analysis following. In the afternoon, general tests of the launch vehicle will be conducted, simulating the liftoff and its flight till the spacecraft separation in the target orbit.

At the same time in the Test Training Complex of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center the prime and backup crews of the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft continue their training. As part of the preparatory program with cosmonauts and spaceflight participants classes are held on onboard documentation and ballistics of the upcoming flight, as well as practical exercises in working with photographic equipment.

Besides, the program includes training on spacecraft crew interaction with Search and Rescue Service. Traditionally the prime and backup crews prepare daily for the spaceflight factors and undergo medical examination.

The Soyuz-2.1a rocket with the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft is scheduled to launch on December 8, 2021 at 07:38 UTC. Its flight to the International Space Station will go according to the four-orbit scheme, the docking to the Poisk Mini-Research Module is scheduled for 13:41 UTC. The spacecraft prime crew includes commander Alexander Misurkin (Roscosmos) and spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa, president of Start Today Corporation, and his personal assistant Yozo Hirano.

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