Published: Sat, April 22, 2017
Science | By Boyd Webster

Soyuz space capsule carrying American, Russian blasts off

Soyuz space capsule carrying American, Russian blasts off

Soyuz less than 100 meters from Poisk docking port. He is the 550th person in history to fly into Earth orbit.

Roscosmos also unveiled the emblem for expedition 51, which Yurchikhin said was inspired by the US' second moon mission, Apollo-12. She's due to return to Earth in September.

Fyodor Nikolayevich Yurchikhin (Russian: Фёдор Николаевич Юрчихин, Greek: Θεόδωρος Γιουρτσίχιν του Νικόλαου; born 3 January 1959), is a Russian cosmonaut of Greek descent, engineer and RSC Energia test-pilot who has flown on four spaceflights.

A scaled-down, two-man U.S.

Yurchikhin and Fischer's mission at the station lasts until September. At age 58, it is Yurchikhin's fifth orbital mission.

But Russian space agency Roscosmos announced previous year that in the near future only two cosmonauts would be on board the ISS rather than three as has been the case in recent times. That day, Whitson will break the American record for most cumulative days in space. A father of two teenage girls who frequently refers to his wife Elizabeth as "a smokin' hot blonde chick", Fischer flew F-15E fighters during two combat tours in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He will become the 38th Air Force Academy graduate to become an astronaut.

The rocket launch comes amid some uncertainty after a Soyuz rocket carrying an uncrewed Progress spacecraft exploded about six minutes into flight on December 1, 2016, wiping out 2.6 tons of food, fuel, and supplies. However, there wasn't time to accelerate the training of a crew member to add to this week's launch. "You have to understand when those systems work, when they don't work, when you need to switch to the others".

On Monday, President Trump and daughter Ivanka plan to call the station for a video conference with Whitson and Fischer to congratulate the station commander for setting a new space endurance record. On that day, Whitson, the first woman to command the International Space Station, will have spent 535 days in space, more time than any other American astronaut. Jeffrey Williams now holds the record.

She will return to earth in early September with both Fischer and Yurchikhin after NASA chose to extend her stay in space by three months.

Russian Federation is scaling back space station staffing until its long-delayed science laboratory is flown to the orbiting outpost next year.

Novitskiy and Pesquet will remain aboard the station until early June.

The crew is also scheduled to receive a resupply mission, carrying tons of food, fuel and research equipment.

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