Soyuz capsule with 3 astronauts docks with space station

Russian spacecraft carrying a trio of astronauts reach ISS

Three new Expedition 56 crew members were welcomed aboard the International Space Station today.

The ship, Soyuz MS-09 has made entry into a designated orbit and will set its position in the dock at the space outpost on June 8.

Under the program of the space station's Russian segment, cosmonauts Prokopyev and Artemyev will make a spacewalk in August 2018 to install scientific equipment of the ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) experiment on the space station's external surface to monitor wildlife on Earth. This coverage will be followed by coverage of the opening of the hatches in between the spacecraft and the space station. On arrival of these three astronauts, the orbiting lab will be full as it will be housing six astronauts.

Expedition 56 joins commander Andrew Feustel, of Lake Orion, Michigan, and flight engineers Ricky Arnold and Russia's Oleg Artemyev on the ISS.

Among the astronauts, Gerst has already flown to space and also an ex-inhabitant of ISS from May to November 2014.

The new space expedition's crew will stay for 187 days aboard the orbital outpost. The Russian rocket carries USA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, and German astronaut Alexander Gerst. Arnold and Futsal will also install some equipment so that the upcoming United States commercial crew vehicles which are aligned with the worldwide docking adapter on the Harmony module of the ISS.

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