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NASA launches new crew to the International Space Station

08 June 2018

The latest crewed launch (above) took place on Wednesday, June 6, transporting three astronauts - American Serena M. Aunon-Chancellor, German Alexander Gerst, and Russian Sergey Prokopyev - to the International Space Station (ISS).

The Soyuz rocket launched at 6:12 a.m. from a facility in Kazakhstan.

NASA TV will feature live streaming coverage of the docking process, as well as the hatch opening and welcoming process, beginning at 8:15 a.m. Friday.

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Once the astronauts connect with the space lab they will be greeted by astronauts Drew Feustel, Ricky Arnold and Oleg Artemyev. The three arriving astronauts will remain aboard until December.

Bridenstine, who became NASA administrator in April, said in a Washington Post interview that he has "talked to many large corporations that are interested in getting involved in [managing the ISS] through a consortium".

The ISS crew spent a staggering 168 days in orbit, circling the Earth 2,688 times and covering a distance of 71.2 million miles.

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The impressive orbital research station has been in continuous usage by various crews on rotation since November 2000.

The capsule has already made several trips to and from the space station, taking supplies and other cargo.

The astronaut-carrying version of the Dragon includes seven seats, a bank of monitors offering the crew real-time flight data, a climate-control system for added comfort, and plenty of windows so the space travelers can gaze in awe at the stunning scenery.

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Bridenstine also said his top two priorities were the resumption of human spaceflight from the USA -since 2011, American astronauts have relied on Russian transportation to get to the ISS-and going back to the Moon with the help of a new, nearby outpost that could ferry supplies there.

NASA launches new crew to the International Space Station