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Soyuz Rocket Carrying Three ISS Crew to Leave Earth Wednesday

Oct 20, 2016 05:27 AM EDT
Expedition 49 Press Conference
The three space crew were seen waving goodbye to the press before they left Earth for the ISS last Wednesday.
(Photo : NASA/Joel Kowsky AFS 8/101 - Permanent)

Three astronauts will replace the existing crew inside the International Space Station (ISS). After two Chinese astronauts arrived on the Chinese experimental space station, Tiangong-2, three astronauts also left the Earth aboard a Soyuz rocket for their mission to the International Space Station (ISS).

"Three crew members representing the United States and Russia are on their way to the International Space Station after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:05 a.m. EDT Wednesday," a NASA official said in a press release.

The new set of astronauts will take command of the space station starting this Friday, Oct. 21 until February 2017. Two Russian cosmonauts, Sergey Ryzhokiv and Andre Borisenko and one NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough left for the ISS aboard Soyuz MS-02 in Kazakhstan after being delayed for more than two weeks.

Initially, the crew transport mission was supposed to launch last Sept. 23 but was postponed due to a reported technical glitch. The issue, according to reports, was not related to the spacecraft but something with the launch system, a short circuit to be exact, according to a report by Times Magazine.

"Roscosmos has decided to move the launch of Soyuz MS-02 ship planned for September 23 due to technical reasons after holding tests on the Baikonur Cosmodrome," a Roscosmos official said in a statement.

The three astronauts will replace the current ISS crew on duty in space namely NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi. The three mentioned astronauts are scheduled to leave the ISS and return to Earth on Oct. 29.

Reports say that the Soyuz rocket reaches the orbit in nine minutes. The spacecraft will travel for two days in order to reach the International Space Station (ISS). During this mission, the Russian rocket will not only transport astronauts from Earth to the ISS; the flight will also help the Russian and Roscosmos engineers to study and observe the systems of their new and innovative Soyuz spacecraft.

Currently, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin is the commander of the ISS. The three astronauts sent to space by the Soyuz rocket are part of Expedition 49.


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