Soyuz MS-18


Soyuz MS-18
Soyuz MS18 Launch.jpg
Yu.A. Gagarin launches atop a Soyuz-2.1a
NamesISS 64S
Mission typeCrewed mission to ISS
COSPAR ID2021-029A
SATCAT no.48159
Mission duration105 days, 3 hours and 5 minutes (in progress)
~180 days (planned)
Spacecraft properties
SpacecraftSoyuz MS no. 748 Yu.A. Gagarin[1][2]
ManufacturerRSC Energia
CallsignKazbek [3]
Start of mission
Launch date9 April 2021, 07:42:41 UTC[4][5][6]
Launch siteBaikonur, Site 31
ContractorProgress Rocket Space Centre
End of mission
Landing date17 October 2021 (planned)
Landing siteKazakh Steppe, Kazakhstan
Orbital parameters
Reference systemGeocentric orbit
RegimeLow Earth orbit
Docking with ISS
Docking portRassvet nadir
Docking date9 April 2021,[6][3]
Undocking date28 September 2021 (planned)
Time docked104 days, 23 hours and 42 minutes (in progress)
~169 days (planned)
Docking with ISS (Relocation)
Docking portNauka nadir
Docking date28 September 2021 (planned)
Undocking date17 October 2021 (planned)
Time docked~19 days (planned)
Soyuz MS-18 mission patch
Expedition 64 Crew Qualification Exams (NHQ202009220006).jpg
Mark Vande Hei, Oleg Novitskiy and Petr Dubrov 

Soyuz MS-18 is a Soyuz spaceflight that was launched on 9 April 2021 at 07:42:41 UTC.[4][7] It transported three members of the Expedition 64 crew to the International Space Station (ISS). Soyuz MS-18 is the 146th crewed flight of a Soyuz spacecraft. The crew consists of a Russian commander, a Russian flight engineer, and an American flight engineer of NASA.[8][9][10][11] The spacecraft is scheduled to return to Earth on 13 October 2021 following 180 days in space.[7] It is expected that the flight will serve as the landing vehicle for the Russian film director Klim Shipenko and actress Yulia Peresild who will launch to the ISS aboard Soyuz MS-19 and spend approximately a week in space in order to film a movie, Vyzov (Russian: Вызов, lit.'Challenge').[12][13][14]

On 9 March 2021, Roscosmos announced that, at NASA's request, they would alter the existing flight plan to include Mark Vande Hei instead of Sergei Korsakov in the main crew and Anne McClain instead of Dmitriy Petelin in the backup one effectively extending NASA astronauts' flights on Soyuz spacecraft for at least another flight.[15][16] This arrangement is an in-kind service for the supplemental crew transportation service between NASA and Roscosmos, without any financial exchange between the two agencies.[17][18]


Prime crew
Position Launching Crew member Landing Crew member
Commander Russia Oleg Novitsky, Roscosmos
Expedition 65
Third spaceflight
Flight Engineer/Spaceflight Participant 1 Russia Pyotr Dubrov, Roscosmos
Expedition 65
First spaceflight
Russia Klim Shipenko, Channel 1
Film Challenge (Vyzov)
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer/Spaceflight Participant 2 United States Mark T. Vande Hei, NASA
Expedition 65
Second spaceflight
Russia Yulia Peresild, Channel 1
Film Challenge (Vyzov)
First spaceflight
Backup crew
Position Crew member
Commander Russia Anton Shkaplerov, Roscosmos
Flight Engineer 1 Russia Oleg Artemyev, Roscosmos
Flight Engineer 2 United States Anne McClain, NASA

Expansion of Russian Orbital Segment

Artist's impression of the ERA attached to the Nauka module (left). The spare joint is attached to the Rassvet module (right).

The Soyuz MS-18 crew arrives on 9 April 2021, well ahead of the launch and docking of Nauka module launching on a Proton-M launch vehicle on 21 July 2021 that will carry a portion of the European Robotic Arm (ERA). A spacewalk is planned by Expedition 65 (Soyuz MS-18 crew members) to prepare the ISS Russian Segment for Nauka and ERA installation this summer.[19][20]

Computer-generated image of the Russian Orbital Segment after Nauka docking.

The UM Prichal module will launch to the International Space Station on 24 November 2021 with Progress M-UM. The ISS flight manifest drafted by Roskosmos on 4 February 2021 set the launch of Prichal for November 2021, with the docking to Nauka's nadir port two days later.[21] One port on Prichal is equipped with an active hybrid docking port, which enables docking with the Nauka/MLM module. The remaining five ports are passive hybrids, enabling docking of Soyuz and Progress vehicles, as well as heavier modules and future spacecraft with modified docking systems.[22] A spacewalk is planned by the Soyuz MS-18 crew, after the arrival of the Prichal module at the space station. This spacewalk will focus on initial provisioning of the module.[7][22]

The Prichal module will become the second addition to the Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) in 2021.



  1. ^ Zak, Anatoly (13 March 2021). "Planned Russian orbital launches in 2021". Archived from the original on 14 March 2021. Retrieved 14 March 2021. A Soyuz-2-1a rocket to launch the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft (Vehicle No. 748, ISS mission 64S)...
  2. ^ Pearlman, Robert (23 March 2021). "Russia's next space station-bound Soyuz named for first cosmonaut". collectSPACE. Archived from the original on 27 March 2021. Retrieved 27 March 2021. Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov, together with NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, are set to lift off to the International Space Station on Russia's Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft, which has been named the "Yu.A. Gagarin"
  3. ^ a b Becker, Joachim Wilhelm Josef. "Soyuz MS-18". Space Facts. Archived from the original on 24 March 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2021. International Flight No. 321; Soyuz MS-18; Kazbek
  4. ^ a b Baylor, Michael (1 April 2020). "Status – Soyuz MS-18". Next Spaceflight. Retrieved 13 October 2020.
  5. ^ Zak, Anatoly (1 December 2020). "Evolution of the Soyuz MS-17 flight program". Retrieved 3 December 2020.
  6. ^ a b NASA [@nasa] (9 April 2021). "A recap of today's journey for three space travelers, including @Astro_Sabot, on a Soyuz spacecraft (all times ET):" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  7. ^ a b c Zak, Anatoly (2 September 2020). "Planned Russian space missions in 2021: Soyuz MS-18". Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  8. ^ @anik1982space (28 February 2020). "Первоначально в основной экипаж "Союза МС-18" (старт весной 2021 года) входили Сергей Рыжиков, Сергей Кудь-Сверчков и Сергей Корсаков. Можно предположить, что Кэтлин Рубинс теперь в этом экипаже вместо Корсакова, а в дублирующем – Томас Маршберн" [Initially, the prime crew of the Soyuz MS-18 (starting in the spring of 2021) included Sergei Ryzhikov, Sergei Kud-Sverchkov and Sergei Korsakov. We can assume that Kathleen Rubins is now in this crew instead of Korsakov, and in the backup one – Thomas / ICQtgZU8Mx] (Tweet) (in Russian). Retrieved 3 March 2020 – via Twitter.
  9. ^ "Для возможного полета на "Союзе" в 2021 году выбрали Кэтлин Рубинс" [Kathleen Rubins was chosen for a possible flight on the Soyuz in 2021]. (in Russian). 6 March 2020.
  10. ^ @anik1982space (9 May 2020). "Вот и новые составы российских экипажей «Союза МС-17» стали известны из пресс-релиза аэропорта Жуковский.
    Основной: Сергей Рыжиков, Сергей Кудь-Сверчков.
    Дублирующий: Олег Новицкий, Пётр Дубров.
    К сожалению, Николая Тихонова и Андрея Бабкина нет..." [Russian Soyuz MS-17 crews became known from the press release of Zhukovsky airport. Main: Sergey Ryzhikov, Sergey Kud-Sverchkov. Dubbing: Oleg Novitsky, Pyotr Dubrov. Unfortunately, Nikolai Tikhonov and Andrey Babkin are gone.] (Tweet) (in Russian) – via Twitter.
  11. ^ "Роскосмос подтвердил подписание контракта на доставку астронавта NASA на корабле "Союз"" [Roscosmos has confirmed the signing of a contract for the delivery of a NASA astronaut on the Soyuz spacecraft] (in Russian). TASS. 12 March 2020.
  12. ^ "Russian actress to head to ISS in 2021 to star in first feature film in space". TASS. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 2 April 2021.
  13. ^ "Выбраны 20 претенденток на роль в фильме, который будут снимать на МКС" (in Russian). Интерфакс. 9 March 2021.
  14. ^ "Фильм "Вызов": итоги медкомиссии" (in Russian). Roscosmos. 13 May 2021.
  15. ^ "Новости. Астронавт NASA назначен в экипаж корабля "Союз МС-18"". (in Russian). Roscosmos. 9 March 2021. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
  16. ^ Brown, Katherine (8 March 2021). "NASA Assigns Astronaut Mark Vande Hei to Space Station Crew". NASA. Retrieved 22 March 2021. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  17. ^ "NASA Weighs Options for Additional Crew Transportation for Spring Soyuz Mission to Space Station". NASA. Retrieved 10 March 2021. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  18. ^ Foust, Jeff. "NASA confirms plan to fly astronaut on upcoming Soyuz mission". SpaceNews. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  19. ^ Davenport, Justin (8 April 2021). "Soyuz MS-18 launch marks 60 years of human spaceflight". Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  20. ^ Zak, Anatoly (9 February 2021). "ISS set for the Russian expansion". Retrieved 9 February 2021.
  21. ^ Zak, Anatoly (10 October 2020). "Planned Russian space missions in 2021". Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  22. ^ a b Zak, Anatoly (15 January 2011), Prichal Node Module, UM,, retrieved 17 November 2020