International Space Station gets 3 new residents after Russian Soyuz capsule launch

The International Space Station welcomed three new residents Wednesday following a smooth Russian launch.

| Updated on: Sep 22 2022, 23:01 IST
NASA: Fire aboard the International Space Station
International Space Station
1/5 According to, the fires were lit as part of the long-running project ‘Advance Combustion via Microgravity Experiments’. Termed as the ACME Project, it began in 2017. (NASA)
2/5 The objective of the experiment was to better the understanding of behaviour, structure and physics of fire in space under microgravity. (NASA)
International Space Station
3/5 In a recent statement, Dennis Stocker, scientist at NASA Glenn Research Center said "That knowledge can help designers and engineers here on Earth develop furnaces, power plants, boilers, and other combustion systems that are more efficient, less polluting and safer.” (NASA)
image caption
4/5 "Over 1,500 flames were ignited, more than three times the number originally planned, Several 'firsts' were also achieved, perhaps most notably in the areas of cool and spherical flames,” Dennis Stocker further added. (NASA)
5/5 The ACME Project experiments were run remotely from NASA's Glenn ISS Payload Operations Center in Cleveland by scientists to save NASA’s astronaut time, according to The mission is said to end in 2022 and the hardware for the ACME Project will be repurposed for a new set of experiments by NASA. (NASA)
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The International Space Station is a co-programme by Europe, the United States, Russia, Canada, and Japan. (Bloomberg)

The International Space Station welcomed three new residents Wednesday following a smooth Russian launch. The Soyuz capsule rocketed into orbit from Kazakhstan and, just three hours later, pulled up at the space station. American Frank Rubio checked in for a six-month stay along with Russians Sergey Prokopyev and Dmitri Petelin.

Rubio, a doctor and former Army parachutist from Miami, rode up on the Soyuz under a new crew swap agreement between the two countries. The agreement was finalized in July despite tensions over Moscow's war in Ukraine, a sign of continuing Russia-US cooperation in space.

Under this cash-free barter, Russian cosmonaut Anna Kikina will fly SpaceX to the space station from Florida in less than two weeks. NASA and the Russian Space Agency want to keep exchanging seats like this to ensure a constant US and Russian presence at the space station.

NASA astronauts routinely launched on Russian Soyuz rockets — for tens of millions of dollars apiece — until SpaceX started flying station crews from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in 2020. A Russian last launched from Florida 20 years ago.

SpaceX aims to launch Kikina along with one Japanese and two Americans as early as October. 3.

The new arrivals will replace astronauts living up there since early spring; the crew size eventually will settle back to seven.

Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti said the view of the launch from the space station was "spectacular." She tweeted stunning photos of the glowing limb of the Earth and the rocket's zigzagging white contrail.

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First Published Date: 22 Sep, 23:01 IST