One American and two Russian space crew members blasted off Friday aboard a Russian spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a mission to the International Space Station.
NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub lifted off on the Roscosmos Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft at 8:44 p.m. local time. O’Hara will spend six months on the ISS while Kononenko and Chub will spend a year there.
Neither O’Hara nor Chub has ever flown to space before, but they will be flying with veteran cosmonaut and mission commander Kononenko, who has made the trip four times already. The trio should arrive at the ISS after a three-hour flight.
When they get to the ISS, their module will dock and when the hatches open they will be met by seven astronauts and cosmonauts from the U.S., Russia, Denmark and Japan. Later in September, three of the ISS crew will depart, including NASA astronaut Frank Rubio who will have been there for more than a year.
According to NASA, when mission commander Kononenko finishes his tour to space in a year’s time, he will hold the record for the person who has spent the longest amount of time — more than a thousand days — in space.