Baikonur, Kazakhstan – At 4:05 am EDT the Soyuz MS-02 rocket liftoff to go to the International Space Station with commander Sergey Ryzhikov, flight engineer Andrey Borisenko and NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough aboard.

Ryzhikov, Borisenko, and Kimbrough will stay aboard the Soyuz for 4 and half months and their touchdown is scheduled to be in February 2017. Days before the launch of the Soyuz MS-02, the mission was delayed because of technical problems with the spacecraft. The problem was a short circuit in the cabin. The arrival of the Soyuz MS-02 to the station is expected to be on October 21 at 5 am EDT.

Soyuz MS-02 / Expedition 49 rollout. Image Credit: NASA / Joel Kowsky/ Spaceflight Insider

This is the first trip to the Orbit for Sergey Ryzhikov but he has experience as a pilot, while for Andrey Borisenko and Shane Kimbrough is their second time in the ISS, Borisenko’s first trip was in 2011commanding the 28 expeditions to the ISS and Kimbrough’s first trip was in 2008 for a space construction.

The purpose of the 50 expeditions to the ISS is to study and research chemical, physics, biology and human physiology’s reaction when they are exposed to microgravity.

This is the second Soyuz on the orbit. In fact, there are three crew members, Kate Rubins from the NASA, Takuya Onishi and Anatoly Ivanishin in the ISS from the 49 expeditions. The crew landed in the ISS on July 6, and the arrival of the expedition should have been on September 23, but technical problems with the ship delayed the trip back to Earth.

From October 30 Kimbrough will command the Expedition 50. A  Soyuz MS-03 will go to the ISS this year, and it is expected to be on November 15. New crew members are Commander Oleg Novitskiy, Thomas Pesque from the European Space Agency and Peggy Whitson from the NASA will join the research.

The International Space Station

The ISS it is a satellite and is the largest artificial body in space. It was launched to the orbit on November 20, 1998, and build with cooperation of Russia, the United States, Canada, Japan and the European Space Agency

The ISS cost was more than 100 billion USD, it is the most expensive item build of all times. The ISS can also be habited and it serves as a laboratory, factory, and observatory for astronauts to perform studies.

Source: Space