After the flight commemorating the 60th anniversary of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin’s becoming the first man in space, a three-person crew docked at the International Space Station on Friday.

A video broadcast by NASA TV shows that the Soyuz capsule carrying Roscosmos astronauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei docked at 1105 GMT (4:35 PM U.S. Standard Time).

“There is a connection!” Russian Space Agency Roscomos wrote On Twitter.

“Hey, the 64th expedition-the table is ready…can’t wait to join @Space_Station in a few hours!” Vande Hei tweeted Pay tribute to the crew on the International Space Station a few hours before takeoff.

On April 12, 1961, Monday, Gagarin (Gagarin) was launched before the first anniversary of its historic flight.

In Nowitzki, when Dubrov and Van der Hey were preparing for a half-year mission in the orbital laboratory, his achievements were seen everywhere in the Baikonur Space Center operated by Russia in Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft that took off by the trio was named after the legendary astronaut, and Gagarin’s portrait was added to its exterior.

Gagarin also made more than one suggestion at a traditional pre-flight press conference on Thursday, when the crew was asked how they plan to spend their anniversary in space.

Dubrov, 43, said: “We will celebrate together.” “We will work hard!”

Friday’s launch came from a launch pad different from the launch pad used by Gagarin’s only mission on which Gagarin spent 108 minutes of orbit.

Hard years
The Gagarin launch pad was last used in 2019 and is currently being upgraded to prepare for a new generation of Soyuz rockets, and is expected to resume operations in 2023.

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Gagarin’s mission was to propagate the Soviet Union. It was a huge victory in the space race with the West. The West became one of the most exciting branches of the Cold War.

However, the anniversary coincides with a difficult period for the Russian aerospace industry. Recently, the Russian aerospace industry has suffered many setbacks, from industry corruption scandals to suspension of takeoffs, which undermined the mission of manned flights in 2018.

Perhaps most importantly, Roscosmos and Baikonur lost their monopoly on the manned International Space Station launch last year because of Elon Musk’s Space X reusable rocket that transported NASA astronauts from American soil. Arrived at the space station.

The emergence of commercial competitors has put Roscosmos in financial trouble-NASA has paid tens of millions of dollars for each seat of the company to send astronauts to the ISS.

Russian space officials are still talking about new adventures, including bringing back samples from Venus and creating a rocket capable of 100 round trips in space.

However, due to President Putin’s priority to increase military spending, the space budget has been declining year by year.

Crowded space station
In the context of increasing geopolitical tensions, space has proven to be a rare area of ​​cooperation between Russia and the West.

However, the ISS project that started in 2000 is expected to retire before the end of the decade.

Although the NASA and Roscosmos statements have moved in different directions as the space station shrinks, the crew emphasized the importance of good relationships for continued progress.

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Vande Hei said: “When we first started, we competed with each other. This is one of the reasons why we were so successful in the early days of human spaceflight.” On the International Space Station mission.

“As time passed, we realized that we could achieve more cooperation… I hope this situation will continue into the future.”

The International Space Station usually can only accommodate six people at a time, and it will be quite crowded next week. Before the three arrive, there will be seven astronauts and astronauts on board.

Kate Rubins of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and Russian astronauts Sergei Ryzhikov and Sergei Kud- Sverchkov) will return from the space station on April 17.

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