ISS astronauts welcome two new crew members at International Space Station!

ISS astronauts welcome two new crew members at International Space Station!

Nothing could encapsulate the wonder of the trip to the International Space Station much like 41-year-old first-time astronaut Jack Fischer who told his wife the trip was "a burrito of awesomeness smothered in awesome sauce".

The International Space Station crew members Jack Fischer of the USA (top) and Fyodor Yurchikhin of Russian Federation board the Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft for the launch at the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, April 20, 2017. "I just looked up at this ginormous rocket and fell in love with the whole idea", said Fischer, 43, a first-time flier and the 550th person in history to enter Earth orbit.

The pair will travel on a fast-track, 6-hour course to the space station and dock to the Poisk module.

"We are looking forward to intensifying our cooperation on a positive agenda, what the European Union and China can do together for the benefit not only of our citizens, but also of the world", Mogherini said.

Like their official patch, Fischer and Yurchikhin's unofficial patch also borrows from USA and Russian space history. Once they arrive at the station, they'll join the three astronauts already living in the orbiting lab and will become part of Expedition 51.

Credit Roscosmos
Credit Roscosmos

To represent their launch together, Fischer and Yurchikhin worked with artists to design two distinct mission patches, one official and one unofficial, but both drawing inspiration from the emblems of historic past spaceflights.

US President Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka are expected to congratulate her on her achievement on Monday, April 24, in an Earth-to-space call, according to NASA. On that day, Whitson, the first woman to command the International Space Station, will have spent 535 days in space, more time than any other American astronaut. Jeffrey Williams now holds the record. The others at the station are Russia's Oleg Novitskiy and France's Thomas Pesquet.

Fischer and Yurchikhin are scheduled to remain aboard the Station until September, along with Whitson, whose stay aboard the Station was extended into Expedition 52 by an agreement recently signed between NASA and Roscosmos.

Fischer and Yurchikhin will be on board the ISS to witness Whitson break the 534-day American record for cumulative days in space previously held by Jeff Williams. Gerst returned to Earth on November 10, 2014.


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