Soyuz MS-06 with new ISS crew launched from Baikonur

Gwen Vasquez
September 13, 2017

About six hours after launch, they'll rendezvous with the ISS, where they'll stay for the next five months. The craft even arrived at the International Space Station a few minutes early.

After a six-hour flight, NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Joe Acaba and Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos arrived at the International Space Station at 10:55 p.m. EDT Tuesday, Sept. 12, where they will continue important scientific research.

The Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft carrying three global crew members to the worldwide Space Station was launched on Wednesday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

Abaca, 50, has spent almost 138 days in space over the space of two missions.

This marks the first long-term increase in crew size on the US segment from three to four, allowing NASA to maximize time dedicated to research.

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At the pre-launch press conference, Acaba said he would be taking some "musica Latina" into orbit.

The launch marks the first time two U.S. astronauts have blasted off together on a mission to the ISS from Russia's Baikonur since June 2010.

The Soyuz MS-06 launch comes shortly after the Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft successfully landed in Kazakhstan, carrying three Expedition 52 members back to Earth.

They will join Russia's Sergey Ryazanskiy, American Randy Bresnik and Italy's Paolo Nespoli, who have been aboard the station since July.

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