Watch astronauts blast off to the International Space Station

Mindy Sparks
June 8, 2018

Rather than dismantling the space station, the memo said, the plan was to "expand global and commercial partnerships over the next seven years in order to ensure continued human access to and presence in low Earth orbit".

A Russian spacecraft carrying Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA, Sergey Prokopyev of Russian space agency Roscosmos and the ESA's Alexander Gerst, from Germany, lifted off as scheduled from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan atop a Soyuz booster rocket at 1612 local time (4:12 a.m. PDT) Wednesday.

The manned spacecraft subsequently entered the near-Earth orbit and started its autonomous flight to the orbital outpost, Russia's State Space Corporation Roscosmos told TASS.

The trio will be received by Expedition 56 commander Drew Feustel and flight engineers Ricky Arnold of NASA and Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos.


NASA TV will feature live streaming coverage of the docking process, as well as the hatch opening and welcoming process, beginning at 8:15 a.m. Friday. The three arriving astronauts will remain aboard until December. The mission program includes 250 experiments in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology. Epps remains in consideration for future missions, NASA said.

The ISS crew spent a staggering 168 days in orbit, circling the Earth 2,688 times and covering a distance of 71.2 million miles.

SpaceX is aiming to play a part in helping NASA to return human spaceflight launches to American soil while ferrying astronauts to and from the ISS, while its long-term goal is to build a reliable, reusable, and cost-effective rocket system for far more ambitious journeys to Mars and beyond.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER