For the first time, the launch of the manned spaceship took place without the spectators

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, introduced quarantine measures across the whole world, closure of borders between the countries our team along with families of cosmonauts and tourists could not attend the launch of the spacecraft on the 9th of April, 2020. On this date, at 11:05 a.m. (Moscow time), new rocket carrier "Soyuz 2.1" with the manned spaceship "Soyuz MS-16", having three cosmonauts on board, successfully took-off. For the first time cosmonauts ventured into space on a new rocket from the launchpad № "31". This the rocket consisted entirely of Russian components.

We shall remind you that earlier the Ukrainian analog control system was used in the rocket carriers. Nowadays the control system is fully digital and of Russian origins. Last summer, Roscosmos tested this new modification of the rocket by sending a Russian robot "Fedor" on board the spacecraft for the International Space Station. The mission was a true success. Russian cosmonauts Anatoli Ivanishin, Ivan Vagner and American astronaut Christopher Cassidy were zealously preparing for the launch amidst the coronavirus pandemic. For the period of one month and half they were living in the Star City - location of  the Russian training center of cosmonauts, where they were preparing for the flight in the state of complete isolation. Following which the crew memeber were transferred to the Baikonur two weeks before rocket launch where they continued preparations for the launch. In the current situation, some particular mass events for cosmonauts were canceled to avoid the risk of the coronavirus infection. As well as enhanced security health measures were also introduced for the crew so that the cosmonauts went to the ISS in good health condition!According to the plan, the crew is to spend 196 days in space, following which the return to the Earth is scheduled. This time we were all forced to stay at home and watch the launch of the rocket from the TV or laptop screens. For the time being the main concern, dear friends, is your health and your safety. For those of you who were not able to watch the online translation of the launch of the spacecraft "Soyuz-16" from the spaceport Baikonur we leave you with the link of the video record of the rocket's blast from Earth: