New Crew Arrives at Space Station After Speedy 6-Hour Trip

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying a crew of three linked up with the International Space Station on Friday (July 28), doubling the orbiting lab's population and kicking off a five-month mission for its space-traveling trio.

The Russian-built Soyuz MS-05 docked with the space station at 5:54 p.m. EDT (2154 GMT) as the two craft sailed 252 miles (406 kilometers) above Germany. The rendezvous in space delivered NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy (of Roscosmos) and Italian astronaut Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency to the station, where they joined three other members of the Expedition 52 crew already aboard. 

Bresnik, Ryazanskiy and Nespoli — all of whom have flown in space before — launched into orbit just 6 hours earlier aboard a Soyuz rocket that lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan in Central Asia at 11:41 a.m. EDT (1541 GMT). They are joining NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson, Jack Fischer and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin at the station. 

Fischer had his camera ready when the Soyuz launched with the new crewmembers. He captured a stunning photo of the Soyuz launch as it appeared from the space station and posted it on Twitter.

Bresnik, Ryazanskiy and Nespoli are scheduled to return to Earth in December. Whitson, Fischer and Yurchikhin will return home earlier, in September.

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Tariq Malik

Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.