New Trio Begins Five-Month Mission, Station Crew Expands to Six

New Trio Begins Five-Month Mission, Station Crew Expands to Six

The crew of the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft, which docked with the International Space Station (ISS) at 05:55 Moscow Time, has opened the transfer hatch and entered the station, the Russian Mission Control Center informed TASS.

The space station's crew came down to three after record-breaking NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and her Expedition 52 crewmates Jack Fischer of NASA and Fyodor Yurchikhin of Roscosmos came back to Earth earlier this month.

Mark Vande Hei, a retired U.S. Army colonel, is scheduled to head to the International Space Station Tuesday afternoon, according to NASA officials.

More news: Hurricane Jose is moving west with 90-mph winds

Misurkin, Vande Hei and Acaba have joined NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, Russia's Sergey Ryazanskiy and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency who have been aboard the orbital outpost since July.

Vande Hei now lives in Virginia with his wife and two children. The new trio will spend five-and-a-half months aboard the station. A global endeavor, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 2,100 research investigations from researchers in more than 95 countries.

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