Three Expedition 56 astronauts have been launched to the International Space Station

The Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft blasting off atop a Soyuz rocket (Image NASA TV)
The Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft blasting off atop a Soyuz rocket (Image NASA TV)

A little while ago the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan with aboard three new crew members to be transported to the International Space Station carrying three new crew members. The Soyuz was launched on the 2-day path.

The three new members of the crew of the International Space Station, who complete the Expedition 56 crew, are:

Alexander Gerst. Born on May 3, 1976 in Künzelsau, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, earned a degree in geophysics from the University of Karlsruhe, earned a master degree in Earth Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and a doctorate in natural sciences at the Institute of Geophysics of the University of Hamburg, Germany. In 2009 he was selected as an astronaut by ESA and already served on the International Space Station as part of the Expedition 40/41 crew in the mission called Blue Dot that ended on November 10, 2014.

Serena Maria Auñón-Chancellor. Born on April 9, 1976 in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, she earned a B.S. degree in electronic engineering from George Washington University in 1997, an M.D. from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston in 2001 and a Master of Public Health from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in 2006. She was hired by NASA as a doctor working on various NASA missions and also spent nine months in Russia following the medical operations related to the International Space Station crews. She was selected as an astronaut candidate in 2009. In 2016 she was part of the NEEMO 20 underwater mission. She’s married and has a daughter. She’s at her first space mission.

Sergey Valeriyevich Prokopyev. Born on February 19, 1975 in Sverdlovsk, in the then USSR, today back to its old name Ekaterinburg, in Russia, he graduated from the Air Force Piloting School Tambov (TWVAUL) in the specialty “Tactical aviation command, air traffic control” in the 1997 and qualified as a “pilot engineer”. From 2002 to 2005 he studied at the State University of Michurinsky, graduating in Accounting, Analysis and Audit and graduated as an economist. He was selected as a cosmonaut candidate in 2010. He’s married and has a son and a daughter. He’s at his first space mission.

The new crew members are scheduled to reach the International Space Station on Friday at about 1:07 PM UTC. On the International Space Station, they will carry out routine maintenance, a long series of scientific experiments and manage the arrival and the departure of various spacecraft.

Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Sergey Prokopyev e Alexander Gerst in front of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft (Photo NASA)
Serena Auñón-Chancellor, Sergey Prokopyev and Alexander Gerst in front of the Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft (Photo NASA)

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