September 16, 2023

The Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft blasting off atop a Soyuz-2.1a rocket (Image NASA TV)

A few hours ago, the Soyuz MS-24 spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and after a little more than three hours reached the International Space Station with three new crew members on board. It docked with the Station’s Rassvet module. As is becoming increasingly common for crewed trips as well, the ultra-fast track was used which halves the journey duration.

Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub will spend about a year on the International Space Station while Loral O’Hara will spend about six months there and return to Earth with different traveling companions. Expedition 69 is almost over, as in less than two weeks, the crew members who’ve been on the Station for a year will return to Earth marking the start of Expedition 70.