A three-person crew has successfully docked at the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday, the Russian space agency Roscosmos confirmed. It's just incredible to see such a huge machine built entirely by humans and flying off the surface of The Earth is still in space after 20 years.
There are now six crew members staffing the ISS, including cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, as well as NASA astronaut Christopher Cassidy, who were already on the station.
The three newly-arrived astronauts will spend 177 days in space, during which they will perform about 55 scientific experiments, continue to trace the reported air leak in the Zvezda module and even perform two spacewalks, one in November and the other in February next year, Russian news agency TASS reported. As the Soyuz spacecraft is compact and cramped, it makes for a terribly uncomfortably journey for the astronauts on board, so getting to the Station as quickly as possible is the best way forward.
This is actually the second spaceflight for Ryzhikov, Rubins, and Kud-Sverchkov and also will make them the 241st people to visit this unique microgravity laboratory.
The American segment of the ISS has its own oxygen production system. Coincidentally, it's also Rubins' birthday. This mission marks the first crewed use of an "ultrafast" flight plan, which will see the Soyuz arrive at the space station within three hours of its launch, rather than following an earlier expedited six-hour track or two-day path.
The previous leak was discovered by ground control when Then the US crew moved to the Russian part of the station, the modules were sealed, and their atmospheric pressure was examined. It is the 100th spacecraft that launches a crew towards the space station, including Soyuz MS10.