Two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut are presently in orbit of the Earth in a Soyuz capsule. Tracy Caldwell Dyson and Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Kornienko were launched from Russia’s Baikonur space center in southern Kazakhstan at 5:04am BST. They will return to Earth at the end of September.
At 20:26 BST on Saturday, the three will join Russian commander Oleg Kotov, NASA astronaut Timothy J. Creamer and Soichi Noguchi of Japan aboard the International Space Station, forming the basis for the end of mission Expedition 23. And if all that traffic wasn’t enough, the crew of the space shuttle Discovery is to come knocking this coming week too.
The Discovery is slated to blast off on mission STS-131 at 1:21am BST on Monday. It will be delivering logistics modules, removing an external station experiment and replacing some ammonia tanks. The mission is expected to last thirteen days.