ISS crew size swings back to six

ISS crew size swings back to six

The International Space Station (ISS) received three new crewmembers on Sunday, marking the orbiting laboratory’s crew size’s return to six.

The Russian Soyuz spacecraft lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, Nov. 17, and successfully docked with the ISS on Saturday. Three new crewmembers, viz. NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and French astronaut Thomas Pesquet, entered the orbiting lab on Sunday.

ISS commander and American astronaut Shane Kimbrough and Russian cosmonauts Andrey Borisenko and Sergey Ryzhikov, who were already aboard the ISS, welcomed the three new crewmembers.

Hovering in the Russian Zvezda unit, the combined six-member ISS crew held a video conference with program managers as well as their family members who were gathered at the Russian mission control center close to Moscow.

Novitskiy’s grandmother radioed, “We, the earthlings, need to follow your example; we need to all love each other. Good health to you and your crew and your colleagues. … We’ve started the countdown to your landing!”

Next month, the ISS crew will receive a Russian Progress cargo ship and a Japanese HTV freighter, which will be loaded with equipment like state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries that will replace aging nickel-hydrogen batteries in the station’s solar arrays.



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