Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Research | By Jody Lindsey

Astronauts launching to International Space Station

Astronauts launching to International Space Station

The Soyuz rocket launched at 6:12 a.m. from a facility in Kazakhstan.

NASA is making it easy for stargazers and fans of space travel to watch the Wednesday morning, June 6 launch of three astronauts heading to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan.

The manned spacecraft is carrying Russian cosmonaut Sergei Prokopyev (the Soyuz MS-09's commander), NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor and representative of the European Space Agency (ESA) Alexander Gerst.

"The crew will orbit Earth 34 times before the spacecraft's arrival and docking", NASA announced in an update.

You can catch the coverage from 8:15 a.m. ET, with the docking expected to take place at 9:07 a.m. ET.

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The trio is set to dock with the International Space Station's Rassvet module Friday. Already aboard the space outpost are NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, as well as Oleg Artemyev of Russia's Roscosmos. The three arriving astronauts will remain aboard until December.

"The crew will spend more than five months conducting about 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development", according to NASA.

Bridenstine also said his top two priorities were the resumption of human spaceflight from the US -since 2011, American astronauts have relied on Russian transportation to get to the ISS-and going back to the Moon with the help of a new, nearby outpost that could ferry supplies there.

The ISS crew spent a staggering 168 days in orbit, circling the Earth 2,688 times and covering a distance of 71.2 million miles.

Blue Origin, on the other hand, is testing a system that it hopes will form the basis of a commercial space tourism service, though it also has ambitions far beyond that.

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