NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and two Russian cosmonauts are settling into their new home on the International Space Station after today’s launch and docking of a Russian Soyuz spacecraft.
- The Soyuz was launched from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 1:05 p.m. local time (1:05 a.m. PT), carrying Cassidy and Russian crewmates Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner into space. After a four-orbit, six-hour trip, the trio arrived at the station and floated through the hatch to meet up with space station residents Andrew Morgan, Jessica Meir and Oleg Skripochka.
- Cassidy, a veteran of two previous spaceflights, is due to become the station’s commander eight days from now when Morgan, Meir and Skripochka return to Earth. Morgan will have spent 271 days in orbit, a longer-than-normal stint that’s aimed at helping NASA understand the effects of long-duration spaceflight.
- The newly arrived trio’s tour of duty is expected to last six and a half months. If all goes according to plan, they’ll greet NASA’s Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken next month when they arrive on the first-ever SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule to carry astronauts.