New Delhi :
Soon after NASA completed it’s a Year in Space mission with the coming of Scott Kelly on planet earth, astronaut Jeff Williams, with cosmonauts Alexey Ovchinin and Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, are set to begin their five-and-a-half-month mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on March 18. The Expedition 47 crew will carry Expedition 47 Soyuz Commander Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, Flight Engineer Jeff Williams of NASA, and Flight Engineer Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos into orbit to begin their five and a half month mission on the International Space Station.
The Expedition 47 crew is scheduled to be launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on March 19. This mission will also be known in history as Williams will become the new US record holder for cumulative days in space - 534 - surpassing Scott Kelly who wrapped up his one-year mission on March 1. This will be his third space station expedition.
Earlier Kelly helped scientists to understand how human body changes over longer periods of time in space. This time the Expedition 47 crew members will continue the several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science.
NASA also released an image of the preparation of the launch today, showing the gantry arms close around the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft to secure the rocket, at launch pad 1 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan where the new mission will start.