Uncrewed Soyuz rocket launches on two-day trip to ISS

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The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Aug. 21. (NASA photograph)

The Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft launched at 11:38 p.m., EDT, Aug. 21 from Site 31 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, on a Soyuz 2.1a booster, which has been used recently to launch uncrewed Russian Progress cargo resupply missions to the space station.

The Soyuz 2.1a booster, equipped with a new digital flight control system and upgraded engines, is replacing the Soyuz FG booster that has been used for decades to launch crews into space. The Soyuz spacecraft will have an upgraded motion control and navigation system, as well as a revamped descent control system.

Instead of crew members, the Soyuz will carry 1,450 pounds of cargo to the Expedition 60 crew currently residing on the orbital outpost.

The Soyuz will navigate to station for an automated docking on the space-facing Poisk module on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 1:30 a.m.  After a two-week stay at the station, the Soyuz will be commanded to undock from the station on Friday, Sept. 6, at 2:13 p.m.

NASA TV coverage of the docking, and undocking activities is as follows:
Aug. 24:
* 12:45 a.m. – Docking coverage (docking scheduled for 1:30 a.m.)
Sept. 6:
* 1:45 p.m. – Undocking coverage (undocking scheduled for 2:13 p.m.)