Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft is scheduled to blast off Wednesday morning with its three-member crew to begin what is billed as Expeditions 56-57 at the International Space Station.
The crew - Alexander Gerst of Germany, Serena Aunon-Chancellor of the USA and Sergei Prokopyev of Russian Federation - are scheduled to lift off on Wednesday for an "Horizons" mission to the ISS to conduct research 400km above the Earth. The spacecraft will orbit 34 times around the Earth before making a landing on June 8, Friday.
This new space mission will last 187 days.
Prokopyev, 43, will serve as the crew's flight commander for the two-day journey to the orbital lab despite having never flown into space before.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is reportedly speaking to companies about privatizing the International Space Station. By comparison, fewer Americans say crewed space missions should be top priorities, with 18% saying that sending astronauts to Mars should be a top priority and only 13% saying the same about the moon.
NASA did not explain the change.
Some of the luck-bringing customs date back to space pioneer Yuri Gagarin, but the blessing was first introduced in the 1990s.
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The head of the U.S. space agency is in talks with several global companies about taking over day-to-day operations at the International Space Station in the coming years, USA media said on Tuesday. Belgian Frank De Winne took charge of the station during a mission in 2009.
The blessing of the Soyuz rocket is one of several traditions of Russian space travel.
Rosicky's head Dmitry Rogozin said after the launch that "the crew of the spacecraft feels good".
In a national survey of 2,541 US adults conducted March 27-April 9, 2018, roughly seven-in-ten Americans (72%) say it is essential for the U.S.to continue to be a world leader in space exploration.
It cost $100 billion to build and orbits about 250 miles (400 kilometers) above the Earth.
Space research has been one of the few areas of global cooperation between Russian Federation and the West that has not been wrecked by the Ukraine crisis.