13 September, 2017
Mark Vande Hei, along with one other American astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut, launched into space shortly after 4 p.m. Tuesday.
A Minnesota native is on his way to the International Space Station, where he will spend the next five-and-a-half months.
The manned spacecraft then separated from the launch vehicle.
The program of the team's mission at the ISS will include over a dozen scientific experiments in medicine, biology, biotechnology and geophysics, which mostly can not be replicated on the Earth. The craft will dock with the orbiting laboratory about six hours later.
Misurkin, Vande Hei and Acaba will join NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, Russia's Sergey Ryazanskiy and Paolo Nespoli of the European Space agency who have been aboard the orbital outpost since July. "The spacecraft will reach the station after about six hours and twenty minutes during the fifth orbit of its free flight", Roscosmos explained, adding that the docking will be fully automatic.