Astronauts arrive at the International Space Station
New crew will be welcomed by astronauts on the space station, including Canadian David Saint-Jacques
Two American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut have arrived at the International Space Station.
The trio consists of NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch as well as Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin.
This was the second attempt by Hague and Ovchinin to get to the ISS. They were originally scheduled to launch in October, but had to abort their mission after their Soyuz rocket had a booster separation malfunction.
The astronauts blasted off on a Russian Soyuz-MS-12 rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:14 p.m. ET. After two orbits around Earth, the Soyuz capsule docked with the ISS ahead of schedule, at 9:01 p.m. ET.
Once they are able to open the hatch to get inside the ISS, they will be met by Canadian David Saint-Jacques, who arrived on Dec. 3, as well as American Anne McClain and station commander Oleg Kononenko. The trio welcomed the first commercially built capsule — the SpaceX Crew Dragon — to dock with the station in the early hours of March 2.
Their arrival will mark the beginning of Expedition 59 (Saint-Jacques is part of 58 and 59).
In the meantime, two spacewalks are scheduled in the coming weeks: the first on March 22 with Anne McClain and Nick Hague. The next will take place on March 29 with Anne McClain and Christina Koch, the first all-woman spacewalk team.