American, Russian arrive at International Space Station

NASA_Roskosmos

NASA_Roskosmos

Cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin is getting ready for his fifth mission to the space station on Thursday. Jeffrey Williams now holds the 534-day record.

It was reported earlier that a Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with a Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft had been installed on a launch pad at the Baikonur spaceport.

On Saturday, NASA will livestream video of the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft rendezvous and capture at the International Space Station. About two hours later, hatches between the Soyuz capsule and station opened. This situation is expected to last until the multifunctional laboratory module Nauka docks with the space station.

Fisher, with the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, is sharing the station with two seasoned veterans, a Russian cosmonaut on his second flight and a first-time French flier.

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"The Soyuz MS-04 manned spacecraft has been named Argo", the statement says.

US astronaut Jack Fischer, above, and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, crew members of the mission to the International Space Station, ISS, wave near the rocket prior the launch of Soyuz-FG rocket at the Russian leased Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, Thursday, April 20, 2017.

But Russian space agency Roscosmos announced a year ago that only two cosmonauts would travel to the ISS this time as it cuts costs before the installation of a new module to expand the Russian section of the orbital lab at the end of 2017 or in early 2018.

This is the first two-person launch to the ISS in more than a decade, with Russian Federation scaling back its space station staffing until a much-delayed science laboratory is flown to the $100bn (£78bn) space station next year.

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