The launch took place on April 20 from site 1 ("Gagarin's start") Baikonur. To the ISS aboard the "Soyuz MS-04" left, Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and U.S. astronaut Jack Fischer. Free third place the phone features a 70-pound cargo container, said TASS.
The flight to the station will be held following a shortened, six-hour chetyrehvalkovoj scheme. On the ISS a new expedition expect Oleg Novitsky (Roscosmos), Peggy Whitson (NASA) and pesquet (ESA).
The ISS was supposed to go two Russians, but Russia's Roscosmos in November last year decided in the spring of 2017 to reduce the number of Russian space station crew from three to two. The decision was made to increase the efficiency of the ISS Russian segment, taking into account proposals of the parent organization for manned space complexes "RSC "Energia". In the end, "Roskosmos" failed to find someone willing to take the vacant place in the "Soyuz MS-04", reports Lenta.ru.
In the truncated part of the Russian mission will be to work up to docking to the station, the multipurpose laboratory module "Nauka" to mid-2018. Until that time, the number of astronauts on the ISS should increase from three to four.
The launch of "Science" is scheduled for autumn 2018. Recently it became known that in the fuel tanks of the module detected the pollution, and all its rubber parts are outdated and do not meet the requirements imposed on them. "Science" is built in 1995, its manufacturer — enterprise "Khrunichev Center", also producing rocket "proton-M". Module after 2024 will close the ISS program, was to become the basis of national Russian station.
In March of this year the us space Agency NASA has signed an agreement with the American aerospace company Boeing, for the purchase of the latter to five seats on the Russian Soyuz. Currently, astronauts on the ISS are delivered exclusively using the Russian Soyuz. NASA want to get rid of these monopolies. To do this in the US are manned spacecraft Dragon V2 and CST-100, as well as the lunar-Mars Orion.