NASA astronaut and SpaceX employee Yuri Malenchkov said on Wednesday that he had learned how to safely and easily fly a Soyuz-2 rocket inside the spacecraft in the months leading up to the flight.
Malenchkov, who will take part in the next flight of Soyuz as a flight engineer on NASA’s first crewed mission to the International Space Station, was among the first people to fly aboard the Soyur-2 on the first flight of the SoyuCrew capsule in late July.
The two-seat Soyuz is powered by a two-stage liquid oxygen/kerosene engine that is powered in conjunction with two Russian-made RD-180 engines.
The Soyuz rocket is capable of lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and returning to Earth in just over two minutes.
The Soyuz crew capsule can carry up to six crew members.
The Russian spacecraft is designed to be used for long-duration missions.
Malenkov was the only person to fly inside the capsule during the flight, during which time the capsule was tested for stability and other safety issues.
He was also the only Russian crew member on the SoyoCrew flight.
The SpaceX rocket that flew atop the Soyul craft on Tuesday was used to launch a Soyur spacecraft into orbit, the first commercial cargo flight for the SpaceX spacecraft.
The first commercial flight of SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket also took place from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The next flight to be conducted aboard Soyuz has been called the “Manned Orbiting Laboratory” flight, and it is expected to take place in 2018.