It seems to be a busy week for the International Space Station. Not only did it see a successful resupply mission by way of a refurbished SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft on Sunday, but it should also receive three new occupants by Tuesday at approximately 3:43 A.M. Eastern time.
Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky
The three future crew members, including Scott Tingle of NASA, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, and Norishige Kanai of JAXA, all gathered at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sunday to board a Soyuz MS-07 spacecraft.
By 2:23 A.M., the rocket’s engines fired, lifting the men into space within mere minutes and setting them on course to dock with the International Space Station.
When they arrive at their destination, Joe Acaba and Mark Vande Hei of NASA and Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos will greet the new arrivals at the airlock. Acaba, Vande Hei, and Misurkin stayed behind on the Earth-orbiting space lab after a Soyuz spacecraft returned three ISS occupants to Earth last week.
It'll be the first space visit for both Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai, but Anton Shkaplerov has been to the International Space Station several times during his career as a cosmonaut.
With a fresh batch of supplies at the International Space Station as of this past weekend, the new crew members should have plenty of science experiments to keep busy. More importantly, the additional human resources should help keep all expected operations on schedule.
If you'd like to watch the Soyuz spacecraft dock with the International Space Station, then you can tune in to the NASA TV web page early Tuesday morning to watch NASA's live coverage of the event.