MOSCOW (AP) — One American and two Russians made a quick trip Friday to the International Space aboard a Russian capsule.
NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and docked at the station three hours later. O’Hara will spend six months there while Kononenko and Chub will spend a year.
The trio was supposed to fly to the space station last spring, but their original capsule was needed as a replacement for another crew. That crew — also two Russians and an American — will ride it home later this month. Their stay was extended from six months to a year when their Soyuz capsule developed a coolant leak while parked at the station.
It’s the first spaceflight for O’Hara and Chub, while mission commander Kononenko is on his fifth trip to the orbiting outpost.
They join seven station residents from U.S., Russia, Denmark and Japan.
By the end of his yearlong stay, Kononenko will set a new record for the longest time in space, more than a thousand days.