The Soyuz MS-16 rocket ascends toward space with three Expedition 63 crewmembers heading to the space station today. Credit: NASA TV
After a successful launch at 4:05 a.m. EDT of the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft, NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and two Russian cosmonauts safely reached orbit, beginning a four-orbit, six-hour flight to reach the International Space Station and join the Expedition 62 crew. At the time of launch, the station was flying about 259 miles over northeast Kazakhstan, south of the Kazakh capital of Nur-Sultan and 587 statute miles ahead of the Soyuz as it left the launch pad.
Cassidy, along with Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, will dock the Soyuz to the station’s Poisk service module at 10:15 a.m. Coverage of the docking will begin on NASA TV and the agency’s website at 9:30 a.m.
About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open, and they will join Expedition 62 Commander Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos and NASA Flight Engineers Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir.
Skripochka, Morgan, and Meir will complete their station mission and return to Earth April 17 on the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft, which will land in Kazakhstan. ...