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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Russian cosmonauts have used a tablet computer for the first time in the history of Russian space exploration, as they performed the latest flight on the manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-16M, the Energia state corporation said Monday.
All the necessary information was pre-programmed into the Soyuz’ on-board tablet computer prior to the launch. The cosmonauts received a complete set of on-board documentation, the flight program and information for dynamic operations, the release read. An easy navigation system and hyperlinks were also provided, it added.
So far, the Russian cosmonauts have been using print manuals but if on-board tablet computers prove successful, Russian spacecraft will switch to electronic guidance.
On Friday, the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. On Saturday, the spacecraft with Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko on board, along with NASA astronaut Scott Kelly successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS).
Kornienko and Kelly will spend 342 days aboard the orbiting laboratory. As for Padalka, he has been prepared for a six-moth tour of duty. In total, the astronauts are expected to conduct 49 experiments.
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