STATES CHRONICLE – On the morning of Saturday, July 9th, three astronauts arrived at the International Space Station. The trip was made in an upgraded Russian Soyuz spacecraft and lasted two days, as the three performed several tests on the systems of their ride.
Astronaut Kate Rubins from NASA, Cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin from Russia, and Astronaut Takuya Onishi from JAXA launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. They were the first humans to take the upgraded Soyuz craft to the stars. Cosmonaut Ivanishin was active commander for the duration of the trip and this was the first actual space mission for Rubins and Onishi.
The team was tasked to perform several tests on the Soyuz-MS spacecraft. The improved communications systems and the thruster configurations both received a healthy shakedown for the entire duration of the trip. Upon arriving. The team declared that the upgraded Soyuz vehicle behaved perfectly throughout and that all their tests passed.
The International Space Station
The ISS’ Rassvet module was docked at 12:06 AM EDT by the Soyuz-MS craft. The hatches opened at 2:26 AM EDT and the team was greeted by the International Space Station’s previous three residents.
Astronaut Jeff Williams from NASA, Cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka, and Cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin had been hard at work on the International Space Station ever since their arrival.
Astronaut Williams had previously installed laboratory machinery for a future experiment regarding life-sciences. A meteor-hunting observation rack had also been recently installed by the ISS’ initial three members.
With Expedition 48’s full team of six now gathered, the command is to remain with Astronaut Williams. Over the following months, they will receive and install an international docking adapter. The adapter will then be able to perform automated docking for both manned and unmanned space crafts.
The International Space Station will be receiving future visits from SpaceX and Boeing crafts and automating the docking process is the safest and most efficient procedure to take care of first.
A SpaceX Dragon cargo is planned to deliver the adaptor. Following the Dragon, the International Space Station is scheduled to receive a visit from an Antares-powered Cygnus spacecraft from Orbital ATK. Both visitors will also be dropping off more supplies and gear for the team.
Afterward, at the end of September, the International Space Station is scheduled to receive Astronaut Shane Kimbrough from NASA. Cosmonaut Andrey Borisenko, and Cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov.
Image Courtesy of Pixabay.