NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and two Russian cosmonauts arrived at the International Space Station on Friday, bringing its resident count to 10 for the week ahead.
The Soyuz MS-18 spacecraft carrying Vande Hei and cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Piotr Dubrovnik from Russian space agency Roscosmos docked at the station’s Rassvet module at 7:05 a.m. EDT. The docking took place two orbits and approximately three hours after a launch at 3:42 a.m. from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Vande Hei, Novitskiy and Dubrovnik will join the crew of Expedition 64 when the hatches open around 9 a.m. Expedition 65, with NASA astronaut Shannon Walker as commander, will begin on Friday, April 16, departing from NASA’s Kate Rubins Sergey Kud of Roscosmos. Sverchkov and the commander of the departure station Sergey Ryzhikov. The trio will land in Kazakhstan after a six-month stay aboard the orbiting laboratory.
The change of command ceremony with all crew members is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. on Thursday, April 15 and will be broadcast live on NASA Television, the NASA app and the agency’s website.
This is the second space flight for Vande Hei, the third for Novitskiy and the first for Dubrovnik. During a six-month stay aboard the in-orbit lab, the trio will work on science and technology development research, earth sciences, biology, human research, and more.
During Expedition 65, the arrival of Crew-2 aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon will bring four more members to the International Space Station. Crew-2 is currently scheduled for launch on Earth Day, Thursday, April 22. Crew-1, the first long-lasting commercial crew mission, will return to Earth on April 28.
In November 2020, the International Space Station surpassed its milestone of 20 years of continuous human presence, providing opportunities for unique technology and research demonstrations that help prepare for long-duration missions to the Moon and Mars while improving life on Earth. To date, 243 people from 19 countries have visited the orbiting laboratory, which has hosted nearly 3,000 research studies conducted by researchers from 108 countries and regions.
Follow Vande Hei on Twitter throughout their mission and get the latest space station crew news, images and features by following @space station, and @ISS_Research on Twitter, as well as on the ISS Facebook and Instagram accounts and on the Space Station Blog.