Touring aboard the Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft, NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov blasted off from the Russia-leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan at 3:42 a.m. ET.
After a two-orbit journey that spanned for greater than three hours, the hatches between the ISS and the Soyuz opened at 9:20 a.m. ET, flying above the South Pacific.
The launch got here simply three days earlier than the sixtieth anniversary of the primary human flight to area by Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and the fortieth anniversary of the primary launch of NASA’s area shuttle.
In keeping with Area.com, the Soyuz MS-18 — named for Gagarin — is Russia’s sixty fourth Soyuz spacecraft to launch for the ISS since 2000 and the 147th to fly since 1967.
Whereas it is Novitskiy’s third area mission and Vande Hei’s second, Dubrov is on his first mission.
Vande Hei, Dubrov and Novitsky will keep aboard the area station by at the very least October, although Vande Hei’s keep could also be prolonged to a 12 months.
Whereas on board, the trio will work on tons of of scientific experiments throughout numerous fields — along with spacewalks — and Dubrov will develop into the 243rd individual to go to the distinctive microgravity laboratory, in response to a NASA weblog put up.
They’re becoming a member of the seven Expedition 64 members, briefly growing the station’s inhabitants to 10.
NASA’s Flight Engineer Kate Rubins and Roscosmos’ Commander Sergey Ryzhikov and Flight Engineer Sergey Kud-Sverchkov arrived on the station aboard the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft in October 2020.
NASA astronauts Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Shannon Walker and Japan Aerospace Exploration Company (JAXA) astronaut Soichi Noguchi reached the ISS in November of final 12 months on the SpaceX Crew Dragon Resilience.
Expedition 65 formally begins on Friday, April 16, with the departures of Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov.
Throughout Expedition 65, the arrival of NASA’s Crew-2 aboard the second operational SpaceX Crew Dragon flight “Endeavour” will carry 4 extra members to the ISS.
Crew-2 is slated for launch on April 22.
The Related Press contributed to this report.