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Astronauts en route to space station after successful launch

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A space station-bound spacecraft carrying three new ISS crew members was successfully launched into space by a Soyuz MS-09 rocket on Wednesday in Kazakhstan. Photo by NASA/Joel Kowsky

By Brooks Hays, UPI

The International Space Station's newest crew members are en route to their new home.

The trio of astronauts were successfully launched into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 7:12 a.m. ET Wednesday, 5:12 p.m. local time.

The Soyuz spacecraft's passengers include: Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency and Sergey Prokopyev, a cosmonaut with the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

The Soyuz capsule is scheduled to arrive at the space station at 9:07 a.m. Friday. In the meantime, the three space travelers will circle Earth at an ever-increasing distance.

"The crew will orbit Earth 34 times before the spacecraft's arrival and docking," NASA announced in an update.

The trio will be received by Expedition 56 commander Drew Feustel and flight engineers Ricky Arnold of NASA and Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos.

Once retrieved by the station station's robotic arm, the capsule will be docked at a port on the Rassvet module.

NASA TV will feature live streaming coverage of the docking process, as well as the hatch opening and welcoming process, beginning at 8:15 a.m. Friday.

"The crew will spend more than five months conducting about 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development," according to NASA.

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Technology - U.S. Daily News: Astronauts en route to space station after successful launch
Astronauts en route to space station after successful launch
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Technology - U.S. Daily News
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