BAIKONUR (Kazakhstan), July 28. /TASS/. A Russian Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft with the crew of a new expedition has reached the near-Earth orbit and is heading for the International Space Station (ISS), State Space Corporation Roscosmos told TASS on Friday.
"The spacecraft has separated from the third stage of the Soyuz-FG carrier rocket," the Roscosmos press office said.
The Soyuz-FG carrier rocket blasted off from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 6:41 p.m. Moscow time on Friday. The spacecraft will perform a flight to the ISS using a shortened six-hour scheme to allow the new expedition to arrive at the docking port of the Rassvet module already at 01:01 a.m. Moscow time on July 29. The previous launch in April was also carried out on the basis of a shortened scheme while another three previous flights of Soyuz MS spacecraft were performed using a two-day scheme as they were conducted in a test mode.
The new expedition members include Russian cosmonaut Sergei Ryazanski, US astronaut Randolph Bresnik and Italian astronaut from the European Space Agency Paolo Nespoli.
Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and US astronauts Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson are currently working aboard the ISS.