Expedition 44 launched from Kazakhstan around 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday and arrived at the International Space Station at 10:45 p.m. ET. It takes more time to get from New York City to LA than it does to get to space. Unbelievable.
Astronauts Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency, and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will stay aboard the ISS until December, joining year-in-space flight engineers Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko, who have been onboard since March, and Expedition 44 commander Gennady Padalka, who also arrived in March and recently beat the record for the most career time spent in space.
The astronauts will conduct a myriad of biological experiments in the next five months, including taking bodily fluid samples and administering questionnaires to Kelly and Kornienko to monitor the effects of living in space on their health. One of the health effects of being in space that NASA’s most concerned about is headaches, which astronauts often get because ofpressure changes in the skull. They’ll also get to harvest crops from the space garden.