Published: Mon, December 18, 2017
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Astronauts Blast off for International Space Station

Astronauts Blast off for International Space Station

NASA's Tingle is on the Soyuz spacecraft with Anton Shkaplerov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

A Soyuz spacecraft sending three astronauts, including Japan's Norishige Kanai, to the International Space Station was successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome space center in Kazakhstan on Sunday afternoon.

Docking is expected on December 19 before 0900 GMT.

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A trio of USA and Japanese astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut blasted off from Kazakhstan on Sunday for a two-day trip to the International Space Station, a NASA TV broadcast showed.

Vande Hei, Acaba and Misurkin are scheduled to remain aboard the station until February 2018, and Tingle, Shkaplerov and Kanai are scheduled to return to Earth in April, the U.S. space agency said.

As the year winds down, three new crew members are set to begin a mission aboard the International Space Station.

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U.S. Navy captain Tingle is a graduate of Purdue University in IN, which also counts space legend Neil Armstrong among its alumni.

Shkaplerov, Kanai and Tingle will join Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA, who have been aboard the orbital outpost since September.

The ISS laboratory, a rare example of American and Russian cooperation, has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000 kilometers per hour since 1998.

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