Lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 0742 GMT on 9 April the Soyuz MS-18 mission carried three crew members to the ISS. The mission utilised a Soyuz 2-1A rocket to loft the Soyuz capsule into a Low Earth Orbit (LEO), inclined at 51.6 degrees. On-board the Soyuz were two cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov. They are joined by American astronaut Mark Vande Hei.
Astronaut Vande Hei was a late addition to the roster – it was originally to be an all-Russian mission – after NASA negotiated with Roscosmos to for his inclusion. This decision was partly driven by delays in the US Commercial Crew programme.
Post Script: Progress MS-14 undocked from the ISS Zvezda service module’s aft port on 27 April at 2311 GMT. After 367 days, 17 hours and 59 minutes, the spacecraft that delivered 2500 kg of cargo on 25 April 2020 now returns with trash and discarded gear from the ISS.
After a 3 hour 20 minute journey the Soyuz capsule completed its autonomous docking procedure and docked with the ISS. Official docking time was recorded as 1105 GMT later the same day.