International Space Station
BAIKONUR /Kazakhstan/, March 15. /TASS/. The Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft carrying three new crew members to the International Space Station (ISS), docked with Russia’s Rassvet module on Friday, Russia’s space corporation Roscosmos said.
“Soyuz MS-12 docked with the Rassvet module at 04:01 Moscow time,” a Roscosmos official said.
Shortly after, a Russian mission control center official told TASS that the docking was successful and the crew entered the space station.
“Hatches have been open, the crew entered the ISS, the cosmonauts are in good health,” the source said.
ISS Expedition 59/60 crew members Alexei Ovchinin, Nick Hague and Christina Koch were greeted aboard by cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko (Roscosmos), NASA astronaut Anne McClain and Candian Space Agency astronaut David Saint Jacques.
The Soyuz-FG rocket carrying a Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft blasted off the Baikonur space center at 22:14 Moscow time. The mission used the short flight scheme rather than the traditional two-day one, and the spacecraft made four orbits in six hours to chase the ISS.
The new ISS Expedition 59/60 will last 204 days. Its members are expected to perform dozens of experiments in medicine, biology, physics, chemistry and other sciences. On March 29, Koch and McClain will perform the first-ever all-female spacewalk. Russian cosmonauts are scheduled to conduct their spacewalk in May.
Originally, Ovchinin and Hague were to arrive on board the ISS in October 2018, but their space mission was aborted shortly after the launch due to a rocket failure. Emergency and rescue systems were activated in time, and the crew was not hurt.
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