October 23, 2021

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Russia’s next space station-bound Soyuz spacecraft named for first cosmonaut

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The next crew to launch into space will fly on board a vehicle named for the first person to do so, Russia’s space agency has announced.

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.”

“According to established tradition, the space mission that is closest to [the launch] date of the world’s first cosmonaut is dedicated to Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin, whose name already adorns the thermal insulation on the exterior of the ship’s orbital module,” stated Roscosmos on its website.

Roscosmos’ logo for 60 years of human spaceflight depicts Yuri Gagarin and reproduces his signature.

Roscosmos’ logo for 60 years of human spaceflight depicts Yuri Gagarin and reproduces his signature. (Image credit: Roscosmos)

Launched on April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin orbited Earth once on board his Vostok capsule. The history-making mission lasted just one hour and 48 minutes.





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