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New space station crew members are en route after Sunday blastoff

New space station crew members are en route after Sunday blastoff

Science
Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Members of Expedition 54 are on their way to the International Space Station after the Russian Soyuz rocket and spacecraft successfully launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sunday morning.The craft is carrying commander Anton Shkaplerov, NASA flight engineer Scott Tingle and Japanese astronaut Norishige Kanai.The Soyuz-FG rocket blasted off at 2:21 a.m. ET, 1:21 p.m. local time. Nearly nine minutes after liftoff, the rocket's upper stage powered off its boosters and released the Soyuz-MS spacecraft into space.The craft will deliver the space station's newest inhabitants on Tuesday. It will be received by the Earth-facing docking port on the station's Russian Rassvet module.Upon arrival, Shkaplerov, Tingle and Kanai will join Expedition 54 Commander Alexan...