In this image released by NASA, the Soyuz-FG rocket booster with Soyuz MS-09 space ship carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasts off at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Wednesday, June 6, 2018.
The new space mission will be the second expedition for Gerst. This coverage will be followed by coverage of the opening of the hatches in between the spacecraft and the space station. NASA says the arrival of this new crew helps aid its "long-term increase in crew size on the USA segment from three to four, allowing NASA to maximize time dedicated to research on the space station". The Soyuz was lifted off at 7:12 AM EDT.
NASA astronauts will embark on a six-and-a-half-hour spacewalk Thursday, June 14, during which they will install new high-definition cameras to capture spacecraft docking with the International Space Station, including new American-made spacecraft with scheduled test flights later this year.
The spacecraft is said to enter the designated orbit on Friday, and then it will be docking to the International Space Station. Gerst will become the next ISS commander. For other two astronauts which include Prokopyev and Aunon-Chancellor, this will be the first spaceflight. Arnold and Futsal will also install some equipment so that the upcoming USA commercial crew vehicles which are aligned with the global docking adapter on the Harmony module of the ISS.