Launch is scheduled for 11:41 a.m. ET. This is Whitson's third long-duration stay on the International Space Station - she will have spent more than 650 days in space by the time she returns to Earth in September. He commanded the underwater NEEMO 19 mission (the name's short for NASA Extreme Environment Mission Operations) in 2014. This is his second space mission, following a 2009 mission on the space shuttle Atlantis. In one bit of trivia, Bresnik's grandfather was the photographer for famed female pilot Amelia Earhart. Vita is Italian for "life".
Three new crew members for the International Space Station launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday.
Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin and USA astronauts Jack Fischer and Peggy Whitson are now working aboard the ISS. 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 crew will work on more than 250 experiments in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development.