Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Research | By Jo Caldwell

American, Russian arrive at International Space Station

American, Russian arrive at International Space Station

The Soyuz-FG rocket carrying the Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft blasted off the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 10:13 Moscow time (07:13 GMT) on Thursday.

Yurchikhin, 58, has racked up 537 days in space over the course of four missions to the ISS, more than any United States astronaut but some way short of the 879 days logged by record-holding compatriot Gennady Padalka.

US astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, crew members of the mission to the International Space Station.

The Soyuz MS-04 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to the International Space Station at 3:13 a.m. EDT on Thursday (1:13 p.m. Baikonur time), the United States space agency said in a statement.

Venezuela's opposition is looking to keep up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro by taking to the streets again Thursday hours after two people were killed and hundreds arrested in the biggest anti-government demonstrations in years.

A camera in the Soyuz crew module shows commander Yurchikhin, left, and Fisher, right during the climb to space. She returns to Earth in September.

Fischer, whose nickname "2fish" came from his former Air Force squadron having another guy named Fischer (as in the Dr. Seuss book, "One Fish, Two Fish."), is on his first flight since being chosen as a NASA astronaut in 2009.

At 57, Whitson also is the oldest woman to have been in space. Already the most experienced female spacewalker, Whitson will become NASA's most experienced astronaut around 1:27 a.m. Monday, passing the previous US mark for cumulative time in space of 534 days two hours and 48 minutes.

Like Malenchenko and Lu, who returned with a third crew member (ESA's Pedro Duque), Fischer and Yurchikhin are slated to land in September with their empty seat filled.

Once they arrive at the station, they will join the three astronauts already living in the orbiting lab and will become part of Expedition 51 crewmates.

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