An unpiloted Russian Soyuz spacecraft, carrying a humanoid robot instead of cosmonauts, parachuted to a rare nighttime landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan Friday (U.S. time) to wrap up a test flight to the International Space Station that paved the way for crewed launches using upgraded Soyuz boosters next year.
Russia’s unpiloted Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft departed the International Space Station at 2:14 p.m. EDT (1814 GMT) and landed in Kazakhstan at 5:32 p.m. EDT (2132 GMT) Friday to conclude a nearly 16-day test flight. The spacecraft carried Russia’s Skybot F-850 robot back to Earth after completing a series of tests with Russian cosmonauts on the station.
Two days after a dramatic docking abort, an unpiloted Russian Soyuz spacecraft glided in for a picture-perfect link up with the International Space Station late Monday, using a different port the second time around and in the process confirming the problem Saturday was with faulty rendezvous equipment in the original docking port.
Flying by hand, Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov undocked his Soyuz space capsule from the International Space Station late Sunday (U.S. time) and maneuvered the ship to a new parking spot on the million-pound research complex, clearing the way for the arrival of a new Soyuz spacecraft Monday night after aborting its first approach.
Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, joined by Italian flight engineer Luca Parmitano and NASA astronaut Andrew Morgan, plans to relocate his Soyuz spacecraft to a new docking port on the International Space Station late Sunday (U.S. time), clearing a spot for the unpiloted Soyuz MS-14 spaceship to attempt another automated approach to the complex Monday after aborting its first rendezvous, Russian officials said.
An unpiloted Russian Soyuz spacecraft, with a humanoid robot in the commander’s seat instead of a cosmonaut, is scheduled for liftoff late Wednesday (U.S. time) from Kazakhstan on a test flight to verify the spaceship’s compatibility with the new-generation Soyuz-2.1a rocket set to begin launching crews to the International Space Station next year.