Kazakhstan

Science • Space
Latest Soyuz mission established a new record for flights to the ISS
Soyuz approaching the ISS
Soyuz approaching the ISS Credit: NASA (Public Domain)

The Soyuz mission, launched from Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 05:45 UTC Wednesday, became the fastest ever journey from Earth to the ISS, with a total travel time of three hours and three minutes. Similar launches, since 2013, take around six hours.

Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos and NASA's Kathleen Rubins were onboard the Soyuz.

Roscosmos stated that "a new record for flights to the International Space Station was set – the total time from launch to docking of the Soyuz MS-17 was three hours and three minutes."

Previously, only an uncrewed Progress cargo space ship has used this profile which requires just two orbits before docking with the ISS.

Health
Chinese Embassy in Kazakhstan issues warning about "unknown pneumonia", Kazakhstan denies
Chinese Embassy in Kazakhstan issues warning about "unknown pneumonia", Kazakhstan denies
Credit: unsplash.com / CDC

The Chinese Chinese Embassy in Kazakhstan has issued a warning about an "unknown pneumonia" that has allegedly killed more than 1,700 people in the country. The embassy stated that the "Kazakhstani Health Department and other agencies are conducting comparative research and have not defined the nature of the pneumonia virus".

In response to the claims, the Kazakhstan health ministry stated that there are indeed "viral pneumonias of unspecified etiology" but added that these were known to the country and not new.

Science • Space
Astronauts arrive at ISS for a six-month mission

Cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, along with American astronaut Christopher Cassidy arrived today at the International Space Station (ISS) for a six-month mission in space. Before the takeoff, that took place in the Russian-controlled Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan; the three men spent a month in quarantine to keep them safe from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.