NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko have launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard a Russian made space rocket headed to the International Space Station.
NASA said Wednesday the three Expedition 49 participants will conduct more than 250 science investigations in areas such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences, and technology development throughout the course of the four-month mission.
Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft has also carried more than 5,100 pounds of science and research equipment including a variety of cargo deliveries that will be used in the ISS laboratory along with Orbital ATK‘s Cygnus spacecraft.
Cygnus also includes payloads that will be used to study the effect of lighting on sleep and daily rhythms, evaluate fires in space, discover a new method of neutron measurement and collect health-related data.
The crew members will also receive a Japanese cargo craft shipment of new lithium ion batteries that will replace nickel-hydrogen batteries currently used to store electrical energy as well as SpaceX‘s 10th commercial resupply ship and two Russian Progress deliveries for food, fuel, supplies and research.
NASA noted that Kimbrough, Ryzhikov and Borisenko will remain in the space station until February while Expedition 49 Commander Anatoli Ivanishin and flight engineers Kate Rubins and Takuya Onishi of NASA and Japan’s aerospace exploration agency will return to Earth Oct. 30.