US, Japanese, Russian astronauts blast off to space station

ANI | Updated: Dec 17, 2017 19:35 IST

Washington D.C. [United States], December 17 (ANI): A Russian Soyuz spacecraft, carrying a three-member crew of astronauts from Japan, Russia and the United States, was launched on Sunday to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The spacecraft, with US' National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Scott Tingle, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Norishige Kanai and Russia's Roscosmos agency's Anton Shkaplerov, is likely to dock to the space station's Rassvet module on Tuesday, the US space agency NASA said in a statement.

The arrival of Tingle, Shkaplerov and Kanai will restore the station's crew complement to six.

They will join Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and his crewmates, Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA.

The crew members will spend more than four months on board, conducting 250 experiments across the fields of biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technological development.

Vande Hei, Acaba and Misurkin are scheduled to remain aboard the station until February 2018, and Tingle, Shkaplerov and Kanai are scheduled to return to Earth in April, NASA's statement added. (ANI)