Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, on his fifth trip into space, and rookie NASA astronaut Jack Fischer, a Colorado native, blasted off aboard a Soyuz booster at 0713 GMT (3:13 a.m. EDT) Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, heading for the International Space Station for a four-and-a-half month expedition. The duo docked with the orbiting outpost at 1318 GMT (9:18 a.m. EDT).
Outgoing space station commander Shane Kimbrough and two Russian crewmates returned to Earth on Monday, riding a Soyuz capsule in a bubble of hot plasma to a parachute-assisted landing in Kazakhstan. The trio undocked from the space station at 0757 GMT (3:57 a.m. EDT) and landed on the Kazakh steppe at 1120 GMT (7:20 a.m. EDT) Monday.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, powered by a previously-flown booster, lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida at 6:27 p.m. EDT (2227 GMT) Thursday. The mission, which lofted the SES 10 communications satellite, marks the first time SpaceX has reused the first stage of one of its Falcon 9 launchers.
Liftoff of a previously-flown Falcon 9 rocket is set for 6:27 p.m. EDT (2227 GMT) Thursday from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the first time SpaceX has reused one of its first stage boosters on a second mission. Ground crews face a tight timeline to ready the rocket and the SES 10 communications satellite in time for a Thursday launch attempt.
After 24 days at the International Space Station, SpaceX’s Dragon supply ship came back to Earth on Sunday with more than 5,400 pounds of cargo, human and animal research specimens, and other gear tagged for the trip home. Release from the station’s robotic arm occurred at 5:11 a.m. EDT (0911 GMT), and splashdown in the Pacific Ocean was a few minutes before 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT).
SpaceX launched its Falcon 9 rocket at 2 a.m. EDT (0600 GMT) Thursday, two days after high winds prevented liftoff. The nearly 23-story booster carried the EchoStar 23 communications satellite into orbit from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida to provide broadcast television programming across Brazil.