The Loutch multifunctional space relay system (MSRS) successfully completed its tasks at the launch of a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with "Yu. A. Gagarin" (Soyuz MS-18) transport manned spacecraft (TMSC) and the crew of the ISS-65 long-term expedition (Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hai.). The Soyuz MS-18 space mission is timed to coincide with the 60th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin's flight on the Vostok-1 spacecraft and began on the eve of anniversary of this event significant for the whole world.
After the departure of the TMSC "Yu. A. Gagarin" from the radio visibility zone of ground communications (the 11th minute of the flight), the transmission of telemetric and command information from the manned spacecraft is carried out by means of the MSRS "Loutch" (operator JSC "Satellite System "Gonets"). For this purpose, the channels of the Loutch-5A and Loutch-5B spacecrafts, the onboard equipment installed on the spacecrafts, and the ground infrastructure were used. The duty shifts normally performed their tasks for planning and monitoring the relay sessions.
In total, starting with the launch of the spacecraft "Yuri Gagarin" into low-Earth orbit and until the completion of its docking with the ISS at 14:05 Moscow Time, 5 relay sessions were successfully conducted. The target information was successfully obtained and communicated to the end users. The planned work of the MSRS "Loutch" with the docked TMSC "Yu. A. Gagarin" continues in accordance with the established schedule.
Launch of TMSC "Yu.A.Gagarin" Photo: Roscosmos