Three Space Travelers Depart for International Space Station

Three space travelers, including one American and two Russians, launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a journey to the International Space Station. The NASA astronaut, Loral O’Hara, will spend six months at the station, while the Roscosmos cosmonauts, Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub, will remain on board for a year.

Originally scheduled to travel to the space station last spring, their trip was delayed when their original capsule was needed as a replacement for another crew. The extended stay of that crew, consisting of two Russians and an American, was prompted by a coolant leak in their Soyuz capsule while it was docked at the station.

For O’Hara and Chub, this will be their first spaceflight, while Kononenko is experienced and is embarking on his fifth trip to the orbiting outpost. Upon their arrival at the International Space Station, they will be greeted by seven astronauts and cosmonauts from the United States, Russia, Denmark, and Japan.

Later in September, three of the current ISS crew members, including NASA astronaut Frank Rubio, will depart, concluding his stay of more than a year. Mission commander Kononenko is set to break a record, as he will have spent over a thousand days in space by the time he completes his year-long tour.

– Roscosmos