March 19, 2016
Three additional crew members for Expedition 47 have safely arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) today, March 19.
Astronauts Jeff Williams, Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka, aboard the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft that blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:26 a.m. Saturday (Baikonur time), docked at the station’s poisk module after almost six-hour trip or at 9:09 a.m. (Baikonur time).
The hatches between the spacecraft and station opened at 10:55 a.m. (Baikonur time).
The trio was welcomed by astronauts Tim Kopra, Tim Peake and Yuri Malenchenko.
The arrival of Williams, Ovchinin and Skripochka returned the station’s crew complement to six.
The Expedition 47 crew members will spend five months conducting more than 250 science investigation in the fields of biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.
With his six-month scheduled stay at the ISS, Williams will become the American record holder for cumulative days in space – 534 – surpassing Expedition 46 commander Scott Kelly, who wrapped up his one-year mission last March 1.
This will be his third space station expedition, another record.
Williams, Ovchinin and Skripochka will remain aboard the station until early September.
When Kopra, Peake, and Malenchenko return to Earth on June 5, Williams will take command of the station for Expedition 48.
For 15 years, spacemen have been living continuously aboard the ISS to advance scientific knowledge and demonstrate new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth and that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space.
A truly global endeavor, more than 200 people from 15 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 1,700 research investigations from researchers in more than 83 countries.
You can watch the launched of Russian Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome below.