Trio of astronauts blast off to international space station


Trio of astronauts blast off to international space station

NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Sergey Prokopyev of Russian space agency Roscosmos - are now safely in orbit, NASA said in a blog post.

A fun fact for Michiganders is that with Expedition 55 leaving the space station, Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos handed control of the space station over to NASA astronaut, and MI native, Andrew J. Feustel. The crew is scheduled to work on some of the roughly 250 experiments and studies underway at the station during their planned five month stay.

The livestream above, courtesy of NASA TV's public streaming service, began coverage at 11.15pm BST straight from the Kazakhstani Cosmodrome.

Researchers are reporting that the vast majority of Americans believe the United States should take the lead in space exploration.

According to NASA, the trio will orbit Earth a total of 34 times before arriving at the outpost on Friday, June 8.

The International Space Station's newest crew members are en route to their new home.

Russian astronaut Anton Shkaplerov, Norishige Kanai of Japan and American Scott Tingle will end their 168 day mission, handing over command to the Expedition 56 crew.

"Strong public support that the USA should continue to be at the vanguard of space exploration is widely shared across gender, educational and political groups".

When it comes to political parties, 70 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning Americans believe that NASA is still vital in the future of the industry, but only 59 percent of the total Republicans and Republican-leaning Americans say the same.

Blue Origin, on the other hand, is testing a system that it hopes will form the basis of a commercial space tourism service, though it also has ambitions far beyond that.