Soyuz space capsule carrying American, Russian blasts off



Fischer and Yurchikhin join NASA's Peggy Whitson, Russia's Oleg Novitskiy and France's Thomas Pesquet at the station.

The other notable aspect of Thursday's launch is the size of the crew-two rather than three.

The launch is scheduled for 3:13 a.m. EDT, 1:13 p.m. Baikonur time.

Fischer and Yurchikhin were the first to receive permission from Roscosmos to name their Soyuz - "Argo". Another new investigation bound for the U.S. National Laboratory will look at using magnetized cells and tools to make it easier to handle cells and cultures, and improve the reproducibility of experiments. With a combined 537 days in orbit, he is one of the world's most experienced space fliers.

He later attended Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., and eventually helped put the F-22 Raptor through its paces. But all in all, it really is a fantastic little vehicle.

Fischer poses with his family behind a glass partition shortly before launch.

She will be called by President Donald Trump.

The duo was expected to reach the station in their Russian-designed Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft about six hours after the launch.

Fischer, a first-time space flier, and Yurchikhin, a veteran of four spaceflights, will spend more than 4 months aboard the orbiting laboratory before returning to Earth in early September.

Whitson, who on Monday (April 24) will surpass the record for the most time spent in space by an American astronaut - 534 days and counting, in the course of her three flights - recently had her own stay extended.

Novitskiy and Pesquet will return to Earth on June 2 and Yurchikhin will take over as commander of Expedition 52.

A rare two-man crew is scheduled to blastoff aboard the Soyuz MS-04 spaceship and travel to the International Space Station.

Recommended News

  • WestJet Airlines looks to launch new no-frills airline later this year

    Canada's ultra low-priced carrier race is heating up, now that WestJet has thrown its hat into the ring. WestJet has not yet announced the name of the new airline, nor which destinations it will serve.

    Sharks rip apart Oilers to knot series 2-2

    The San Jose Sharks broke their goal-scoring drought with a vengeance Tuesday to run the Edmonton Oilers right out of SAP Center. Laurent Brossoit replaced Talbot - and gave up a second goal to Pavelski, again on a power play, less than four minutes later.
    U.S. VP Pence says seeks fairer trade with Indonesia

    U.S. VP Pence says seeks fairer trade with Indonesia

    South Korean leaders expressed strong support for Pence's approach in meetings this week in Seoul. Indonesia is the first Muslim-majority country Pence will be visiting.
  • NH bill restricting food stamps won't come up for House vote

    Texas guarantees state high school graduates admission to public universities if they finish in the top 10 percent of their class. However, HB 2899, introduced last week, has a committee hearing Wednesday.
    US Sends Nuclear Sniffer Jet to Monitor Radioactivity at Korean Peninsula

    US Sends Nuclear Sniffer Jet to Monitor Radioactivity at Korean Peninsula

    Volleyball is a popular sport in North Korea, and satellite imagery often shows games being played, the 38 North report adds.
    Zuma 'not bothered' by people calling him names

    Zuma 'not bothered' by people calling him names

    The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and the Umkhonto We Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) have been Zuma's key defenders. ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said last week that no ANC member would vote against Zuma in the no-confidence vote.
  • Cubs fan, 9, has priceless reaction when parents surprise him with tickets

    Cubs fan, 9, has priceless reaction when parents surprise him with tickets

    First baseman Anthony Rizzo and third baseman Kris Bryant saw the video and chose to do something special for Kolt. Little did he know he would be gifted with the tickets of a lifetime to Wrigley Field.
    Abbott: 'I support the principles' of bathroom bills

    Abbott: 'I support the principles' of bathroom bills

    Opponents tried to block the bill using House procedural rules and debate stretched on for hours, but it passed Wednesday 110-37. Supporters say it's the government's job to take care of who they say are the most vulnerable, like unborn babies.

    Massive mound of rubbish crushes 10 people in Sri Lanka

    Bicycles and auto-rickshaws were crushed or lying topsy-turvy. "I have a mix of feelings, of anger, frustration and sorrow". About a thousand people are thought to have been displaced by the disaster.
  • Trump signs executive order scrutinizing skilled immigrant visas

    The White House argues that program undercuts American workers. Help our journalists VERIFY the news. We try to decode them for you.

    Serena Williams planning 2018 return after confirming pregnancy

    Belgian player Kim Clijsters retired and had a child before coming back at age 26 and winning three majors titles as a mother. The news means the 2017 season is over for Williams, with her due date being roughly in the late summer swing before the U.S.
    China Willing to Work With US for Peace in Korean Peninsula

    China Willing to Work With US for Peace in Korean Peninsula

    The administration's immediate emphasis, they said, was to be on increasing pressure on Pyongyang with the help of Beijing. Asked by host Liz Wheeler whether the US was on the verge of any armed conflict with the North Koreans, Kredo said no.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.