Saturday, March 24, 2018

Soyuz MS-08 Spacecraft Docks with ISS

The newest Expedition 55 crew members (front row from left) Drew Feustel, Oleg Artemyev and Ricky Arnold gather in the Zvezda service module and speak to family and colleagues back on Earth. Behind them are (from left) Norishige Kanai, Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Scott Tingle. Credit: NASA TV

Three new Expedition 55 crew members were welcomed aboard the International Space Station on March 23. The hatches between the two spacecraft opened at 5:48 p.m. EDT, marking the arrival of Expedition 55 Flight Engineers Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold of NASA and cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos.

The trio joined Scott Tingle of NASA, Commander Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency aboard the orbiting laboratory.

The Soyuz MS-08 was launched aboard a Russian Soyuz-FG carrier rocket on Wednesday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan. The spacecraft docked to the ISS’ Poisk module in an automated regime under the control of specialists of the Russian mission control center and Russian cosmonauts onboard the spaceship and the ISS.

Artemyev said earlier he would set out on a spacewalk on August 8 together with Sergei Prokopyev, who is due to reach the ISS in June. The Russian cosmonauts will install equipment on the external surface of the ISS for the ICARUS experiment on monitoring wild birds. This will be the most interesting experiment out of more than 50 others, which the Russian crew will carry out during the flight, the cosmonaut said. The Russian cosmonauts will also launch nano-satellites during their spacewalk.

The Soyuz MS-08 takes to the station a ball of the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The ball will be later taken back to the Earth by cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov and may be used in the first match of the championship in Russia.

Credit: NASAsputniknews.comTASS

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