Space Station For Sale: NASA Administrator Is In Talks With International Companies

Soyuz MS-09 Takes New Crew to the International Space Station (+Photo)

Trio of astronauts blast off to international space station

A space crew consisting of three astronauts, namely Sergey Prokopyev of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Serena Aunon-Chancellor of NASA, and the European Space Agency's Alexander Gerst from Germany, blasted off to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday 6 June. The Russian Soyuz MS-09 ship is set to reach the ISS on Friday.

Wednesday's launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan was the latest in a long series and went without a hitch.

The trio only have a total of one previous space mission between them - 42-year-old Gerst's debut mission aboard the ISS was in 2014 - making this one of the less experienced space station crews in recent times. The Trump administration has expressed its intent to stop funding the International Space Station and turn it over to the private industry, according to Washington Post.

The ISS, which is orbiting 400 kilometers above the Earth, is now manned by three astronauts, including two Americans and one Russian. The three arriving astronauts will remain aboard until December.

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The Russian cosmonaut Oleg Artiomov once brought this football symbol to the ISS to make World Cup broadcasts and show how astronauts also enjoy the sport and take it to space. They have been living on the five-bedroom house-sized space station (from the inside) since March 21 and will introduce all the systems and safety procedures to the newcomers. They assembled and tested the scientific gear required for the spacewalk, cleaned sample cartridges inside the station's Electro-Static Levitation Furnace, and prepped Plant Habitat-01 for future botany experiments.

This new space mission will last 187 days. Forty-two percent of surveyed Americans believe NASA should search for planets that could sustain life, and 41 percent think it is important - although not top priority - that the agency conducts research on how space travel affects human health.

Boeing hasn't built a private space station yet, but it has worked with NASA, and it is tracking the news.

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