Soyuz MS-09 Takes New Crew to the International Space Station

Friday, 08 Jun, 2018

A Soyuz rocket carrying three crew members to the International Space Station (ISS) has blasted off from Baikonur in Kazakhstan.

Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev will be commanding the Soyuz spacecraft designated to take the Expedition 56-57 crew on a trip to the space station. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted soon after the launch. In the past 17 years, more than 230 people from 18 countries have visited the International Space Station.

The Soyuz MS-09 rocket is pictured standing at its launch pad on a clear blue day at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The ISS, which is orbiting 400 kilometers above the Earth, is now manned by three astronauts, including two Americans and one Russian. That team is comprised of Americans Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold and Russian Oleg Artemyev.

The three of them will carry out scientific experiments until the next 8th, when the new crew will arrive at the ship to carry out full-time work. They have been living on the five-bedroom house-sized space station (from the inside) since March 21 and will introduce all the systems and safety procedures to the newcomers. The crew of six will spend the coming months working on about 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development, according to NASA.

This crew continues the long-term increase in crew size on the United States segment from three to four, allowing NASA to maximise time dedicated to research on the space station.