Expedition 55 Crew En Route to the ISS

The Three additional crew members of International Space Station Expedition 55 are en route to their new home for the next three months. Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev and NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold are expected to rendezvous with the station at 18:41 GMT (14:41 EST) on Friday, March 23.

The three-stage Soyuz-FG rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 17:44 GMT (23:44 local time) on Wednesday, March 21. Approximately eight minutes and 40 seconds later, the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft was released from the rocket’s upper stage.

Following the successful separation of the Soyuz MS-08, Russian controllers confirmed that both the spacecraft’s solar arrays and navigations antennas had deployed. Once the Soyuz MS-08 has rendezvoused with the ISS, the crew will dock with the station’s Rassvet Module. NASA TV will broadcast the hatch opening and welcoming ceremony for the new Expedition 55 crew members at 21:41 GMT (17:41 EST).

The three ISS Expedition 53/54 crew members returned to Earth late last month. NASA’s Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin completed their 168-day stay touching down safely outside a remote town in Kazakhstan on February 28. During their stay, Misurkin broke the record for the longest spacewalk by a cosmonaut.

Image Credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky

Andrew Parsonson is a space enthusiast and the founder of Rocket Rundown. He has worked as a journalist and blogger for various industries for over 5 years and has a passion for both fictional and real-life space travel. Currently, Andrew is the primary writer for Rocket Rundown as we look to expand our reach and credibility.