Sci-tech

Soyuz space capsule carrying American, Russian blasts off

Soyuz space capsule carrying American, Russian blasts off

NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin are on the docket for this flight, scheduled for take off at 3:13AM ET from Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

That trio has been in space for more than 150 days on its current mission and is scheduled to return to Earth in June.

Veteran Fyodor Yurchikhin and first-timer Jack Fischer set off in bright conditions at 8.13am United Kingdom time.

The Soyuz MS-04 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 3:13 a.m. EDT on Thursday (1:13 p.m. Baikonur time), the USA space agency said in a statement. This frees up two Soyuz seats a year. She plans to returns to Earth in September.

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A scaled-down, two-man U.S.

Fischer and Yurchikhin were the first to receive permission from Roscosmos to name their Soyuz - "Argo". He is the 550th person in history to fly into Earth orbit.

Fischer, 43, is an Air Force colonel and former test pilot with a master's degree in aeronautics and astronautics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The new avionics box is arriving aboard Orbital ATK's Cygnus cargo craft on Saturday, April 22.

Peggy Whitson, the first woman to command the ISS, will reach a landmark on Monday, as she will have spent 535 days in space. Russian Federation is scaling back space station staffing until its long-delayed science laboratory is flown to the orbiting outpost next year.

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When she returns to Earth with Yurchikhin and Fischer on September 3, she will have logged 666 days in space during three missions, moving her up to eighth in the world, one spot behind Yurchikhin, who will have logged 672 days aloft over his five missions.

The launch was carried out from the Russian-leased launch facility of Baikonur, carrying 70 kilograms of food products.

He also ventured outside the confines of the space station for four spacewalks.

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