A trio of Russian and American space travelers launched successfully and reached the International Space Station on Friday.
NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov blasted off as scheduled at 12:42 p.m. (0742 GMT, 3:42 a.m. EDT) aboard the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft from the Russia-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan.
For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.
They docked at the station after a two-orbit journey that lasted just over three hours.
It is the second space mission for Vande Hei and the third for Novitskiy, while Dubrov is on his first mission.
The launch came three days before the 60th anniversary of the first human flight to space by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and the 40th anniversary of the first launch of NASA’s space shuttle.
“When we started, we were competing with each other and that was one of the reasons we were so successful at the beginning of human space flight,” Vande Hei said at a pre-flight news conference on Thursday.
“And as time went on, we realized that by working together we can achieve even more. And of course, that’s continuing to this day and I hope that it will continue into the future.”
The three will work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science, and Earth science.
On the International Space Station, they are joining NASA’s Kate Rubins, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, Russians Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi.
Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov arrived in a Soyuz ship in October; Hopkins, Glover, Walker and Noguchi — the crew of the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience — joined them in November.
NASA SpaceX mission: Dragon capsule docks at station with its first four astronautsSpaceX’s newly launched capsule with four astronauts arrived Monday at the International Space Station, their new home until spring.The Dragon capsule ... World News
Ultimate absentee ballot: US astronaut Kate Rubins votes from space stationAt least she didn’t have to wait in line.A US astronaut cast her ballot from the International Space Station on Thursday, making her voice heard in ... World News
China to lose access to Australian space tracking station of strategic importanceChina will lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision ... World News
The International Space Station is expecting a special delivery in 2020: A new toiletThe International Space Station (ISS) plans to receive a new toilet later this year to replace the current toilet in the US side of the space station, ... Variety
SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule docks with International Space StationA SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule carrying two NASA astronauts docked Sunday with the International Space Station, the first time a crewed US spacecraft ... Variety