A Russian-U.S. trio of space travelers has launched successfully, heading for the International Space Station
MOSCOW — A Russian-U.S. trio of space travelers launched successfully Friday, heading for the International Space Station.
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.
They are set to dock at the station after a two-orbit, three-hour journey.
Its the second space mission for Vande Hei and the third for Novitskiy, while Dubrov is on his first mission.
During their mission, the crew will work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science.
The launch comes 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 NASAs space shuttle.
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.