ISS receives three new crew members

ISS receives three new crew members

With the successful docking of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft on Saturday, the International Space Station (ISS) received three new crew members, viz. Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet.

The three new crewmembers were welcomed by NASA astronaut and ISS commander Shane Kimbrough and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, who were already aboard the orbiting lab. Now, the space station’s crew has returned to six.

According to a statement released by NASA, Novitskiy of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Whitson of America and Pesquet of the European Space Agency (ESA) arrived at the orbiting lab 4:58 p.m. EST (2158 GMT).

The docking of the space capsule with the ISS took place nearly 260 miles above Earth, a couple of days after the spacecraft lifted off from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur Cosmodrome on Thursday, Nov. 17th.

The new crew will complete a series of scientific experiments in the space until their scheduled return to the planet in the spring of 2017.

Whitson, 56, has become the world’s oldest woman to travel in space. The record for the oldest woman to travel to space was previously held by 55-year-old Barbara Morgan. She will also become the first woman to command the ISS twice.

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