Flight attendant becomes 1st Belarusian woman in space on ISS-sprint Soyuz launch

Flight attendant becomes 1st Belarusian woman in space on ISS-sprint Soyuz launch

For the first time, a spacecraft has lifted off with a flight attendant aboard, however there will seemingly be no drink provider during the flight.

Marina Vasilevskaya, who additionally served as a flight instructor for Belavia Airlines in her dwelling nation of Belarus, traded her attendant uniform for a Russian Sokol pressure swimsuit to turn into the first Belarusian woman to hover into space. On Saturday (March 23), she launched on Russia’s Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft with cosmonaut Oleg Novitsky of Roscosmos and NASA astronaut Tracy Caldwell Dyson on a mission to the International Space Station.

“It be a immense honor for me and a immense responsibility to be in this unbelievable mission,” stated Vasilevskaya sooner than heading to the launch pad. “That is our national mission. It be this kind of immense honor. I’m so proud to indicate our republic.”

The three crewmates left Pad 31/6 at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakstan at 8:36 a.m. EDT (1236 GMT or 4:36 p.m. local time) riding atop a Soyuz-2.1a rocket. It modified into their second strive at launching to space after a low voltage warning from a section of ground attend gear halted the countdown on Thursday.

Nine minutes into the flight, a tiny figurine of “Sharik,” the dim and white pup from the Soviet-technology cartoon “A Kitten Named Woof,” began to traipse whereas hooked up to a tether.

The toy, or “zero-g indicator,” signaled that Novitsky, Dyson and Vasilevskaya had entered Earth orbit. The Soyuz modified into now on a trajectory to autonomously dock with the station after circling the planet 34 times. The two spacecraft are scheduled to link collectively using Russia’s Prichal node at 11:09 a.m. EDT (1509 GMT) Monday.

Linked: International Space Station: Everything you should take dangle of about the orbital laboratory

Russia’s Soyuz MS-25 spacecraft, atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket, lifts off for the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on Saturday, March 23, 2024. (Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Once aboard the station, Novitsky, Dyson and Vasilevskaya will seemingly be welcomed by Expedition 70 commander Oleg Kononenko and cosmonauts Nikolai Chub and Alexander Grebenkin of Roscosmos and NASA astronauts Loral O’Hara, Matthew Dominick and Jeanette Epps. Dyson will join the resident crew, serving as a flight engineer, over the next six months.

The Soyuz MS-25 “zero-g indicator” is a tiny figurine of “Sharik,” a pup from the Soviet cartoon “A Kitten Named Woof.” (Image credit: Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center)

Novitskiy and Vasilevskaya will seemingly be aboard the station for about 12 days, after which they’ll return to Earth with O’Hara on Soyuz MS-24. The three will sprint away the orbiting laboratory for a landing on the steppe of Kazakstan on April 6.

To enable Vasilevskaya’s transient confer with as a spaceflight participant, Kononenko and Chub will remain on the station for one more six months. After a yearlong conclude, they’ll near dwelling with Dyson on Soyuz MS-25 in September.

Soyuz MS-25 crewmates Oleg Novitsky, Tracy Dyson and Marina Vasilevskaya wave from the bottom of their Soyuz-2.1a rocket prior to boarding their spacecraft for launch. (Image credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Vasilevskaya, 33, modified into chosen to hover by the Belarus Academy of Sciences and Belarus Space Agency via a nationwide contest. She modified into one of six finalists from a pool of larger than 3,000 feminine candidates and modified into in the cessation chosen over one more flight attendant, two scientists and two medical doctors. Anastasia Lenkova, a 28-12 months-ragged pediatric surgeon, modified into named Vasilevskaya’s backup.

“Her work ethic is de facto great,” stated Dyson of Vasilevskaya in an interview with collectSPACE.com. “She’s a flight attendant. That’s her day job and, as you perceive, flight attendants don’t honest attend drinks. They’re primarily responsible for our personal security on board the plane and so she’s no stranger to emergency situations and what to intention and simple conclude soundless during them. She’s demonstrated that in our sims and our training collectively, in particular of us that involve putting masks on our heads and changing from one swimsuit to one more, so she has indisputably been a delight to work with.”

“She’s indisputably stepped up to no topic function she’s been assigned and what she lacks in skills as a cosmonaut she makes up for with a colossal perspective,” stated Dyson.

Earlier than serving on Boeing and Embraer plane for Belavia, Vasilevskaya devoted 15 years to competing as a professional ballroom dancer. She is first the citizen of the Republic of Belarus to prevail in space. Pyotr Klimuk and Vladimir Kovalyonok, each and every of the earlier Belarus Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR), preceded her into orbit on their first spaceflights in 1973 and 1977, respectively.

Novitsky, 52, is making his fourth flight to the space station as commander of Soyuz MS-25. A retired lieutenant colonel in the Russian Air Pressure, he beforehand logged bigger than 531 days in space on his three prior missions in 2013, 2017 and 2021. He joined Russia’s cosmonaut corps in 2006.

Dyson, 54, is on her third mission to the space station following a space shuttle confer with in 2007 and a long-duration conclude in 2010. She has already logged bigger than 188 days in space. A chemist with a doctorate from the University of California at Davis, Dyson joined NASA with its 17th personnel of astronauts in 1998.

The Soyuz MS-25 and visting expedition mission patches, including emblems from Russia and Belarus. (Image credit: Roscosmos by the use of collectSPACE.com)

Dyson and Vasilevskaya are the first two ladies to launch collectively on board a Russian spacecraft. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and South Korean spaceflight participant Soyeon Yi beforehand landed collectively aboard Soyuz TMA-11 in 2007.

MS-25 is Russia’s 71st Soyuz to launch for the International Space Station since 2000 and the 154th to hover since 1967.

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Robert Pearlman is a space historian, journalist and the founder and editor of collectSPACE.com, an online publication and personnel devoted to space historic past with a explicit point of interest on how and where space exploration intersects with pop tradition. Pearlman is additionally a contributing creator for Space.com and co-creator of “Space Stations: The Art, Science, and Actuality of Working in Space” published by Smithsonian Books in 2018. He beforehand developed online content for the National Space Society and Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, helped keep the space tourism company Space Adventures and for the time being serves on the Historical past Committee of the American Astronautical Society, the advisory committee for The Mars Generation and leadership board of For All Moonkind. In 2009, he modified into inducted into the U.S. Space Camp Hall of Reputation in Huntsville, Alabama. In 2021, he modified into honored by the American Astronautical Society with the Ordway Award for Sustained Excellence in Spaceflight Historical past.

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