The three crew members of the Expedition 56 Soyuz are on their way to reach International Space Station after they took off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome which is located in Kazakhstan at 7:12 am EDT on Wednesday.
The Soyuz spacecraft is carrying with it some of the well known and experienced crew members to reach the ISS. Alexander Gerst who is a member of the ESA, Serena Aunon who is the chancellor of NASA and Sergey Prokopyev who is a Russian cosmonaut are about to the reach the Rassvet module of the International Space Station at 9:07 am on Friday, June 8. Full coverage of the entire docking will begin at 8:15 am on NASA television and simultaneously on the agency’s website. This coverage will be followed by coverage of the opening of the hatches in between the spacecraft and the space station.
The arrival of these three members will make the current crew members at the space station to six. The other three members who are already present at the International Space Station are Expedition 56 commander Drew Feustel along with flight engineers Mr. Ricky Arnold of NASA as well as Oleg Artemyev of Roscosmos. The present crew within the ISS will spend about five months and will be engaged in conducting close to 250 science investigations in various fields spanning from Earth science, human research, biology, technology development and finally physical sciences. Arnold along with Feustel and Artemyev are asked to remain within the ISS till October. While the chancellor, along with Gerst and Prokopyev are due to return in December.
This crew has again increased the number of crew members pertaining to U.S. from three to four. This has in turn allowed NASA to extend the time which is dedicated to research on the space station. Some of the future investigations include a new facility which will enable the researchers to study ultra-cold quantum gases, conducting of microgravity research and establishing a system that utilizes the surface to analyze liquid-liquid separation.
It has been an extended period of 17 years during which different researchers and astronauts have lived and put up their hard efforts inside the space station to enhance scientific knowledge and exhibiting new technologies, demonstrating such research breakthroughs which are near to impossible on Earth. Such mind-blowing experiments will surely ensure long-term human as well as robotic exploration amidst the deep space.