In the middle of June, three astronauts, including British astronaut Tim Peake, came back home from the International Space Station; that’s the space-based laboratory that zooms around the Earth about 16 times per day.
On Wednesday, NASA is preparing to send three more astronauts to the International Space Station. Among them is NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Russian cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin, and Japanese astronaut Takuya Onishi.
Image Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
The three are currently stationed in the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and will all depart from planet Earth at 9:36 P.M. EDT.
Known as Expedition 48-49, the three astronauts will spend approximately four months on board the International Space Station, where they’re conduct experiments and perform maintenance across the space station.
Among some of the things they’re expected to work on are biology experiments, physical experiments, technological experiments, and even human research. A lot of the things that we are currently learning will be helpful in future deep space missions, such as the upcoming major goal of putting mankind on Mars.
The three astronauts that are heading to the International Space Station later today are scheduled return to Earth in October, where a new set of astronauts can replace them.
These three will join the existing astronauts, Jeff Williams of NASA and Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, who were left behind on the International Space Station following the return of Tim Peake, Tim Kopra, and Yuri Malenchenko.
NASA will begin its complimentary live coverage on NASA TV starting at 8:30 P.M. EDT, so be sure to tune in if you’re interested in watching the rocket lift off and take the astronauts into space.