NASA Launches Expedition 49

By Claire Ann Austria

Oct 20, 2016 05:00 AM EDT

Another mission has been made by NASA as it launched the Expedition 49 rocket at 4:09 a.m. today with three crew members headed to the International Space Station.The crew hopes to complete 250 new science investigations by late February in the fields of biology, earth sciences, human research, physical sciences, and technology development.

NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough is joined by cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos. The rocket is expected to dock the Poisk module of the International Space Station Friday at 5:59 a.m., with live coverage of the event starting at 5:15 a.m. They will replace the three-person crew currently aboard the space station.

Commander Anatoli Ivanishin of Roscosmos, Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency have been living in the station since July 9.

These members were part of Expedition 48, and were transferred to Expedition 49.

According to NASA, Kimbrough, Ryzhikov and Borisenko are scheduled to remain aboard the station until late February. Rubins, Ivanishin and Onishi will return to Earth Oct. 30.

Among the projects, the members will study "fires in space, the effect of lighting on sleep and daily rhythms, collection of health-related data, and a new way to measure neutrons."

For the mission overview, below is the schedule with corresponding dates.

7/6/16                         - Exp 48/49 Launch
7/9/16                         - Exp 48/49 Dock
10/14/2016                - Progress 63 Undocks
10/17/16                     - Cygnus OA-5 Launch
10/19/16                     - Exp 49/50 Launch
10/29/16                     - Exp 48/49 Land

Expedition 49 is the 49th expedition to the International Space Station. Anatoli IvanishinKathleen Rubins and Takuya Onishi transferred from Expedition 48. Expedition 49 began upon the departure of Soyuz TMA-20M on September 6, 2016 and will conclude upon the departure of Soyuz MS-01 in November 2016. The crew of Soyuz MS-02 are then to transfer to Expedition 50

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