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Astronauts relocated a spacecraft outside the International Space Station




Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, along with NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, flew the Soyuz MS-17 capsule from its current port to another on Friday.

The maneuver was broadcast live on NASA television channel i website.

Ryzhikov, Kud-Sverchkov and Rubins arrived at the Soyuz capsule space station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in October.

Crew members moved the spacecraft from the Rassvet module, which has an Earth-oriented port, and moved it to the Poisk docking port, which faces space. Coupling occurred at 12:38 pm ET and coupling was confirmed at 1:12 pm ET.

The relocation video provided a panoramic tour of the outer space station.

This will free up the port of the Rassvet module for another crew to arrive at the space station next month via the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft. The incoming crew includes NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. They will launch on April 9 from Kazakhstan.

Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov will return to Earth on the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft on April 17.

This type of reconfiguration last occurred in August 2019 and is the 15th relocation of the Soyuz port in the 20-year history of astronauts living on the space station.

The space station went through an orbital sunrise during flight, reflecting the red light from the spacecraft.

Members of the historic NASA-SpaceX Crew-1, including NASA astronauts Victor Glover Jr., Mike Hopkins, Shannon Walker and Japanese aerospace exploration agency Soichi Noguchi, who launched from the United States on the space station in November, they will also return after the launch of Crew-2 next month.

The Soyuz is visible (right) as it flies around the space station.

This second rotation with the NASA-SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft will include NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Akihiko Hoshide and European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

Crew-2, which could be launched on April 22, will join Crew-1 on the space station before Crew-1 returns to Earth.