MAR 12, 2019 1:10 PM PDT

Expedition 59-60: One of the Last Times NASA Will Use a Soyuz Rocket?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

A Russian Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft is expected to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Thursday, March 14th, ferrying Expedition 59-60 to the International Space Station to continue the long-lasting tradition of conducting scientific experiments in the microgravitational environment in the name of science.

Expedition 59-60 will be comprised of two American astronauts (Christina H. Koch and Mike Hague) and one Russian cosmonaut (Alexey Ovchinin), and the three will join three existing crew members on the International Space Station to bring the Earth-orbiting space lab back up to full capacity.

It may seem like business as usual between NASA and Roscosmos, but this may turn out to be a historic launch as NASA moves away from its dependence on Russia for crewed launches and instead turns to local commercial space companies such as SpaceX and Boeing.

SpaceX just recently concluded the Demo-1 launch, which demonstrated that the Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon capsule would be a seamless transition for NASA’s International Space Station launch needs. SpaceX is poised to launch its first crewed Demo-2 mission by July, aligning with NASA’s future crewed mission needs.

Given the circumstances, it’s entirely possible that NASA could make the shift to commercial spaceflight from American soil sometime this year, and given how infrequent those launches are (every six months or so), the very next launch may very well happen on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket instead of a Russian Soyuz.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 08, 2020
Space & Astronomy
2020 Has a Lot of Martian Missions in Store
MAR 08, 2020
2020 Has a Lot of Martian Missions in Store
Space agencies typically send missions to Mars once every several years, depending on the need for scientific exploratio ...
APR 20, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Here's How the ESA's CHEOPS Mission Works
APR 20, 2020
Here's How the ESA's CHEOPS Mission Works
Exoplanetary detections have exploded exponentially since the first discovery of one by Swedish astronomers in 1995. The ...
MAY 27, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Unfavorable Weather Delays SpaceX's Historic Crewed American Launch
MAY 27, 2020
Unfavorable Weather Delays SpaceX's Historic Crewed American Launch
After officially receiving the green light from NASA to move forward with the first crewed space launch from American so ...
MAY 30, 2020
Space & Astronomy
SpaceX Crewed Demo-2 Mission Lifts Astronauts Into Space From U.S. Soil
MAY 30, 2020
SpaceX Crewed Demo-2 Mission Lifts Astronauts Into Space From U.S. Soil
Following a cancelled rocket launch opportunity this past Wednesday due to unfavorable weather conditions, SpaceX and NA ...
JUN 09, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Why SpaceX's Droneship Footage Often Cuts Out During Landings
JUN 09, 2020
Why SpaceX's Droneship Footage Often Cuts Out During Landings
SpaceX has nearly mastered the art of landing the first stages of the plethora of rockets its sends into space so that t ...
JUN 25, 2020
Space & Astronomy
Did Scientists Just Discover the Smallest Black Hole Known to Man?
JUN 25, 2020
Did Scientists Just Discover the Smallest Black Hole Known to Man?
An array of antennas in the US and Italy, known as the International LIGO-Virgo Collaboration, received some unusual rea ...
Loading Comments...