ISS returns to its full capacity of six astronauts

ISS returns to its full capacity of six astronauts

The arrival of the three astronauts at the International Space Station (ISS) has once again boosted the orbiting lab back up to its full capacity of six. It is for the first time since April that the ISS has reached its full capacity of six astronauts. The new three-man space crew, one astronaut each from Russia, Italy and the United States arrived at the ISS on Friday for a five-month mission.

Carrying flight commander Cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, and flight engineers Randy Bresnik of NASA and Paolo Nespoli of the ESA, the Soyuz MS-05 launched from a launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 11:41 a.m. EDT yesterday, and reached at the ISS nearly 6½ hours later.

Four astronauts, viz. Peggy Whitson, Jack Fischer, Napoli and Bresnik, will now carry out science experiments in the space station’s NASA-run segment, while Ryazansky will join Fyodor Yurchikhin to operate the Russian section.

At a pre-launch press conference, Bresnik said, “There is a ton of science to do … They’ve really got their groove on. They are working very, very well. They have good technique and tempo.”

The $100 billion space lab has been orbiting our planet at a speed of around 28,000 kilometers (17,000 miles) per hour since 1998.