Three new crew members have arrived at the International Space Station, restoring the station’s crew to six, NASA said on Wednesday.
NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Joe Acaba and Alexander Misurkin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos arrived at the International Space Station at 10.55 pm EDT on Tuesday (8.25 am on Wednesday, India time)
The space station’s crew came down to three after record-breaking NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and her Expedition 52 crewmates Jack Fischer of NASA and Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos came back to Earth earlier this month.
The three new crewmates launched aboard the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5.17 pm (3.17 a.m. Baikonur time Wednesday), orbited Earth four times, and docked at the space station.
The new crewmates join Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of ESA (European Space Agency.)
The new Expedition 53 crew members will spend more than four months conducting approximately 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development, NASA said.
Bresnik, Ryazanskiy and Nespoli are scheduled to remain aboard the station until December, and Vande Hei, Acaba and Misurkin are slated to return in February 2018.