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NASA Astronauts Arrive in Space for a Mission

NASA

On Friday, March 23, 2018, two U.S. astronauts, along with one Russian cosmonaut, docked their or the Soyuz spacecraft at the space station at approximately 3:40 p.m EDT. They are three of six members of the Expedition 39 crew. They are just now arriving, the other three have already been there.

The main focus of their mission is to be engineers for NASA until early June. Before beginning their mission, in their free time,  the two U.S. astronauts will have their own mission to complete. The astronauts will also be using the soccer ball that will be used during the FIFA 2018 World Cup.

Before the three men landed their spacecraft, they had been in orbit for two days, according to Space.com. The Soyuz is the only ride to and from the International Space Station (ISS). the Soyuz can hold up to six passengers. The shuttle was grounded in 2011.

With a little more research, hopefully, there will be advances in technology opening the door for new ways of travel. Xspace and Boeing are developing new astronaut taxis with the multi-million dollar contract they have with NASA. According to Space.com, these taxis may be available as soon as December.

During the expedition, the crew will be working on several experiments. Some will include biology, biotechnology, physical science, and earth science. Biology is the study of life. Biotechnology is the exploitation of the biological process for industrial and other purposes. Physical science is the study of inanimate natural objects. Earth science is the physical constitution of the Earth and its atmosphere.

Before they begin on these projects, the two U.S. astronauts will have a mission to complete on March 29. They will be going on an extravehicular activity called a spacewalk. They will be making some repairs to the station’s ammonia coolant system. They will also be replacing the cameras mounted on the orbiting complex. These are the cameras that take the great pictures of the Earth, and help to see what is going on around the station. This will only be one of four spacewalks that will be completed by NASA astronauts.

What is hard work without a little fun? During the NASA expedition, when the crew finds themselves with some free time, they will be playing soccer. One of the crew members brought the soccer ball that will be used during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

The World Cup take place on June 14-July 15. The ball will be used during the first match. One of the crew members worked with the U.S. Tennis Association to develop micro-rackets and tennis balls. They hope to one day play tennis in space. Besides playing,  the crew would use this opportunity to reach out to students around the world. The astronauts and cosmonaut will be returning from their mission in late August.

Written By Alexis Norman

Sources:

Space: News US-Russian Crew Will Launch to Space Station Today: How to Watch Live
Space: Soyuz Rocket Launches US-Russian Crew to Space Station
Space: NASA Astronauts, Cosmonaut Arrive At Space station after 2-Day Trip

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Space Tux’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Source: https://www.space.com/40070-nasa-astronauts-cosmonaut-arrive-space-station.html https://www.space.com/40050-soyuz-rocket-launches-space-crew-expedition-55.html https://www.space.com/25206-space-station-astronauts-launch-webcast.html

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