Soyuz capsule with 3 astronauts to reach ISS on Tuesday
Washington : A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying a team of three astronauts from the US, Russia and Japan will reach the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday, the spacecraft embarked on its journey on Sunday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The new crew members include NASA's Scott Tingle, Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. Thier arrival will restore the station's crew complement to six.
They will be joining Expedition 54 Commander Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and his crewmates, Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA.
On Thursday, three crew members - Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazansky [of Roscosmos] and astronauts Paolo Nespoli [of ESA] and Randy Bresnik [of NASA] - from International space station had returned on Earth.
The new crew members will spend more than four months conducting approximately 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development, NASA said.
Highlights of upcoming investigations include demonstrating the benefits of manufacturing fibre optic filaments in a microgravity environment.
Other important investigations include a new study looking at structures that are vital to the design of advanced optical materials and electronic devices and examining a drug compound and drug delivery system designed to combat muscular breakdown in space or during other prolonged periods of disuse, such as extended bed rest on Earth.
Vande Hei, Acaba and Misurkin are scheduled to remain aboard the station until February 2018, and Tingle, Shkaplerov and Kanai are scheduled to return to Earth in April, the US space agency said.