Three new crew members have joined existing astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS).
The men – one Russian, one British and one American – arrived aboard their Soyuz spacecraft, which had launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and orbited the Earth four times before manually docking to the station.
The new crew is comprised of NASA astronaut Tim Kopra, Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Tim Peake. They will remain on the ISS until early June 2016.
They join the three Expedition 46 crew members, Commander Scott Kelly of NASA and Flight Engineers Sergey Volkov and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos.
Kelly and Kornienko will return to Earth at the conclusion of their one-year mission on 1 March 2016, along with Volkov. The pair will have spent 340 consecutive days living and working in space to advance understanding of the medical, psychological and biomedical challenges astronauts face during long duration spaceflight, in addition to developing countermeasures to reverse those effects.
Bill Condie is a science journalist based in Adelaide, Australia.
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