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Russian capsule with three astronauts docks with space station

11 June 2018

The new space mission will be the second expedition for Gerst.

Under the program of the space station's Russian segment, cosmonauts Prokopyev and Artemyev will make a spacewalk in August 2018 to install scientific equipment of the ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) experiment on the space station's external surface to monitor wildlife on Earth.

NASA broadcasted the event live on its television station, and provided updates to the docking of Expedition 56 to the space station throughout the morning. The Soyuz was lifted off at 7:12 AM EDT.

The trio of astronauts that launched for the International Space Station earlier in the week safely made it to and docked at the orbiting laboratory Friday morning, June 8.

They joined current crew members - Americans Drew Feustel and Richard Arnold and Russian Oleg Artemyev - who have been in space since March. The carrier was taken off on Wednesday (June 6) and has successfully entered a designated orbit. Gerst will become the next ISS commander. He was a part of an Expedition crew of 40-41. The Russian rocket carries USA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Russian cosmonaut Sergey Prokopyev, and German astronaut Alexander Gerst.

The two spacewalkers will install brackets and high-definition cameras near an worldwide docking adapter mated to the front end of the station's Harmony module.

Russian capsule with three astronauts docks with space station