New Crew Midway to Station Before Spacewalk and Cargo Ops

Soyuz MS-08 Launch
The Soyuz MS-08 rocket is pictured blasting off Wednesday carrying three Expedition 55-56 crew members to outer space.

Three new Expedition 55 crew members are set to begin their mission aboard the International Space Station when they dock to the Poisk module Friday at 3:41 p.m. EDT. Flight Engineers Ricky Arnold, Drew Feustel and Soyuz Commander Oleg Artemyev are midway through their flight inside the Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft that launched Wednesday at 1:44 p.m. from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Expedition 55 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and Flight Engineers Scott Tingle and Norishige Kanai will greet their new crewmates when the hatches to the new Soyuz spacecraft open Friday around 5:45 p.m. The current station crew has been living onboard the orbital complex since Dec. 19.

NASA TV will cover the rendezvous and docking activities live beginning Friday at 3 p.m. The hatch opening and welcome ceremony broadcast will start at 5 p.m.

As they wait for their new crewmates, Tingle and Kanai are getting a pair of U.S. spacesuits ready for next Thursday’s spacewalk to install new communications gear. Commander Shkaplerov is loading a Russian resupply ship with trash and obsolete gear ahead of its undocking on Wednesday.

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