A space crew consisting of three astronauts, namely Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA, and the European Space Agency's Alexander Gerst from Germany, blasted off to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday 6 June.
As for NASA, after the retiring of the Space Shuttle, it launched zero manned missions from U.S soil and using USA technology.
Following blast-off, the Soyuz spacecraft carrying the astronauts will orbit the Earth for about two days. Within a few hours from then, the hatches between the spacecraft and the orbital lab will be opened, allowing the astronauts to join the three Expedition 56 crewmembers who are already onboard.
Station commander Drew Feustel and flight engineers Ricky Arnold and Oleg Artemyev have been living in space since March. They are expected to reach the International Space Station on the morning of June 8. They would be joining the existing crew of three on the station. The crew of six will spend the coming months working on about 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development, according to NASA.
We had contacts with the representatives of the United States space agency NASA and the European Space Agency, after which we agreed to maintain the coordination to act as a whole, Rogozin declared.