Watch live as NASA launches new crew to International Space Station

08 Juin, 2018, 03:36 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Rep. James Bridenstine R-Okla. nominee for administrator of NASA testifies at his nomination hearing before the Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation in the Russell Senate Offi

The Soyuz rocket launched at 6:12 a.m. from a facility in Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz spacecraft's passengers include: Serena Auñón-Chancellor of NASA, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency and Sergey Prokopyev, a cosmonaut with the Russian space agency Roscosmos.

A trio of astronauts blasted off Wednesday morning on a two-day trip to the International Space Station.

The International Space Station's international nature does of course complicate the idea of the USA turning it over to a commercial consortium, and Bridenstine told the Post that he was aware companies may find it "hard to close the business case".

NASA TV will feature live streaming coverage of the docking process, as well as the hatch opening and welcoming process, beginning at 8:15 a.m. Friday.

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The three astronauts returned safely to Earth on June 3 in a parachute-assisted landing on the steppes of Kazakhstan. Already aboard the space outpost are NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, as well as Oleg Artemyev of Russia's Roscosmos.

Bridenstine, who became NASA administrator in April, said in a Washington Post interview that he has "talked to many large corporations that are interested in getting involved in [managing the ISS] through a consortium". Once aboard the ISS, Expedition 56 (and 57) will "work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science".

The impressive orbital research station has been in continuous usage by various crews on rotation since November 2000.

On Wednesday, Bridenstine also promised to always have an astronaut in space. On that front, 58 percent of Americans agree, saying human astronauts are essential to the space program's future.

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