Washington, Oct 19: Three crew members of Expedition 49/50 were set for launch to the International Space Station (ISS) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday.
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, along with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, will travel for two days in the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft to test upgraded spacecraft systems before docking to the space station on Friday.
The new crew members will be welcomed on board by Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, who have been aboard the complex since July.
The original launch date of September 23 was postponed due to a technical issue with the Soyuz spacecraft, which Roscosmos repaired, NASA said in a statement.
Kimbrough, Ryzhikov and Borisenko will spend a little more than four months together aboard the orbital complex before returning to Earth in late February.
The full six-person crew will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the ISS.