Soyuz spacecraft with Russian, American two-man crew reaches ISS

Soyuz spacecraft with Russian, American two-man crew reaches ISS

With a rare empty 3rd seat, a Russian Soyuz capsule carried two men Astronauts Jack Fischer, 43-year-old, and 58-year-old Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin.

They will travel six hours before docking at the space station. The Soyuz flew at 1:13 p.m. local time/3:13 a.m. EDT (0713 GMT).

According to NASA, Fischer is a first-time space flier, whereas Yurchikhin is a veteran of four spaceflights.

Fischer and Yurchikhin will join NASA's Peggy Whitson, Russia's Oleg Novitskiy and France's Thomas Pesquet.

USA astronaut Jack Fischer, 43, told his wife the journey to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan was "a burrito of awesomeness smothered in awesome sauce".

"Mom, it's like me being in Texas, depending on where we are going around the Earth, I'll be just as close", he said, Reuters reported.

The International Space Station crew members Jack Fischer of the U.S. (top) and Fyodor Yurchikhin of Russian Federation board the Soyuz MS-04 spacecraft for the launch at the Baikonur cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, April 20, 2017. On that day, Wilson, who on a previous mission became the first woman to command the International Space Station, will break the USA astronaut record for the most cumulative time in space.

She is expected to receive a congratulatory phone call on Monday from US President Donald Trump, NASA said. Jeffrey Williams now holds the 534-day record. She is scheduled to return to Earth in September.

Mr Fischer and Mr Yurchikhin, making his fifth space flight, will spend more than four months aboard the orbiting station before also returning to Earth in September.