On Friday, a trio consisting of one American astronaut and two Russian cosmonauts embarked on a swift journey to the International Space Station aboard a Russian capsule. NASA’s astronaut Loral O’Hara joined forces with Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub for this space adventure. Their mission commenced with a spectacular liftoff from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and remarkably, they reached the space station a mere three hours later.
During their mission, O’Hara is scheduled to spend a six-month stint aboard the International Space Station, while Kononenko and Chub have committed to a yearlong stay. Interestingly, this team’s mission was initially planned for the spring but had to be postponed as their original capsule was reassigned to replace another crew. This particular crew, consisting of two Russians and an American, will return to Earth later this month, having extended their stay from six months to a year due to a coolant leak issue in their Soyuz capsule while it was docked at the station.
Mission commander Oleg Kononenko is no newcomer to space exploration; this mission marks his impressive fifth trip to the orbiting outpost. They are joining a diverse group of seven station residents representing the United States, Russia, Denmark, and Japan.
Notably, by the conclusion of his yearlong expedition, Kononenko will set a remarkable new record for the longest cumulative time spent in space, exceeding a thousand days.
The captivating images captured during their launch depict the Soyuz rocket’s breathtaking ascent into the heavens from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on September 15, 2023. These visuals provide a glimpse into the extraordinary journey undertaken by NASA astronaut Loral O’Hara and Roscosmos cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub as they embark on Expedition 70 to the International Space Station.