An updated Soyuz spacecraft launched Wednesday at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to ferry three crew members to the International Space Station.
Kate Rubins of NASA, Soyuz Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Russia’s space agency and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency began their voyage 9:36 p.m. Eastern Time Wednesday and will test modified systems before the spacecraft docks to ISS’ Rassvet module, NASA said Thursday.
The crew members will join the Expedition 48 team to conduct at least 250 science studies related to biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.
Expedition 48 crew members will work to install ISS’ first international docking adapter to accommodate future U.S. commercial crew spacecraft.
NASA is scheduled to launch SpaceX‘s cargo resupply spacecraft CRS-9 this month to deliver test systems meant to sequence DNA in space, regulate temperatures aboard spacecraft, study bone loss and monitor ships worldwide to the orbiting laboratory.
Orbital ATK’s sixth commercial resupply mission and two Russian Progress resupply missions that will carry food, fuel, supplies and research projects are also set for delivery to Expedition 48.