NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and two cosmonauts safely arrived at the International Space Station Friday, Sept. 15, bringing its number of residents to 10 for the coming week. The Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft carrying O’Hara, as well as Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub of Roscosmos, docked to the station’s Rassvet module at 2:53 p.m. EDT. Docking occurred about three hours after the crew’s 11:44 a.m. launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
O’Hara, Kononenko, and Chub will join the Expedition 69 crew when hatches open at 5:10 p.m. O’Hara, who is beginning a six-month stay aboard the orbital outpost, and Kononenko and Chub, who will both spend a year on the orbital outpost will work on science and research in technology development, Earth science, biology, and human research for the benefit of all. This marks the first spaceflight for O’Hara, the fifth for Kononenko, and the first for Chub.
Expedition 70 will begin Wednesday, Sept. 27, following the departure of record-breaking NASA astronaut Frank Rubio and Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Prokopyev, and Dmitri Petelin. Rubio recently broke the record for longest single spaceflight by an American. Following a yearlong stay aboard the orbiting laboratory, the trio will land in Kazakhstan on Sept. 27, at which point Rubio will have spent a total of 371 days in space—the longest single spaceflight by a U.S. astronaut.