NASA astronaut heading to International Space Station

Soyuz MS-09 Takes New Crew to the International Space Station (+Photo)

"Godspeed to @AstroSerena, Sergey Prokopyev and @Astro_Alex!"

The very experienced flight surgeon, Auñón-Chancellor was initially scheduled for a later space program.

The crew will be lifting off on a Soyuz MS-09 rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine tweeted soon after the launch.

NASA will launch a new rotation of crew members to the International Space Station Wednesday morning.

The trio would have to spent the better part of the next two days enclosed in the capsule, as it slowly climbs while orbiting the Earth towards the ISS.

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The Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft lifted off at 11:12 UTC (17:12 in Kazakhstan) from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The 56th long-distance expedition has already begun its work at the ISS, made up of the American Andrew Foistel, the ship's captain, the flight and cosmonaut engineer from Roskosmos Oleg Artiomov and NASA's Richard Arnold. They have been living on the five-bedroom house-sized space station (from the inside) since March 21 and will introduce all the systems and safety procedures to the newcomers.

We had contacts with the representatives of the United States space agency NASA and the European Space Agency, after which we agreed to maintain the coordination to act as a whole, Rogozin declared.

The crew will orbit Earth 34 times before the spacecraft's arrival and docking to the space station's Rassvet module at 9.07 am on June 8. They conducted hundreds of experiments during the 168-day-long stay including research into plant growth in space as well as the effect microgravity on bone marrow.