Soyuz MS-18 arrives at International Space Station, bringing the current crew count to 10

Before Commercial Crew the Soyuz was the only way to the ISS and normally only two were ever docked, making up a crew size of no more than 6. Now with SpaceX’s Crew 1 is on board, upon MS-18’s arrival, there are now 10 crew members for Expedition 64.

Early Friday morning a Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying Oleg Novitsky (Roscosmos), Pyotr Dubrov (Roscosmos), Mark Vande Hei (NASA) to the ISS. The journey only took a few hours before docking with the Rassvet module on the Russian side of the space station.

Currently, there are 10 crew members on the ISS, the most we’ve seen since the retirement of the Space Shuttle. The ISS only has 7 beds, for 3 or the current residents, they will have to pick a spot somewhere around the station to attach their sleeping bag to and call home, NASA refers to this as “Camping Out”.

The crew joins Expedition 64 for a short while until the MS-17 crew will leave with the current expedition commander Sergey Ryzhikov on April 17th. Next Friday, the changing of the command ceremony will take place between Ryzhikov and Crew 1 crew member Shannon Walker.

Walker will hold the spot of station commander until her departure later this month after SpaceX’s Crew 2 Dragon arrives at the station. From there she will hand command over to JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide who will be only the second astronaut from Japan to command the station.

Today marks a 6-month stay for the MS-18 crew on the orbiting laboratory. Continuing its mission in providing unique research opportunities for researchers to conduct experiments that can’t be done on Earth. The MS-18 crew’s departure date is expected to be October 13th of this year.

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