3 astronauts set out for space station on Wednesday

NASA Experiments

3 astronauts to blast off for space station on March 21

On board the capsule were NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, and Roscosmos' cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev.

The Soyuz MS-08 spacecraft for the next International Space Station (ISS) crew, consisting of astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold of the U.S and crewmate Oleg Artemyev of Russian Federation, is lifted on the launchpad ahead of its upcoming launch, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan March 19, 2018.

A MI astronaut blasted off into space Wednesday aboard a spacecraft heading to the International Space Station.

Soyuz MS-08 rocket in Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA flight engineers Ricky Arnold and Drew Feustel are heading to the space station with Soyuz commander Oleg Artemyev.

After spending more than two days maneuvering up to the space station's orbit, the three new crewmembers will dock with the station at 3:41 p.m. EDT (1941 GMT).

The trio will join station residents Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, Scott Tingle of NASA and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

Data collected will inform satellite designers how different materials can degrade over time - a topic of great importance when it comes to designing and building spacecraft and structures to withstand a journey through the cosmos, NASA said.

The Associated Press Mission specialist Greg Chamitoff, left, and mission specialist Drew Feustel pump their fists for photographers as they prepare to leave for Launch Pad 39-A and a planned liftoff on the space shuttle Endeavour at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on May 16, 2011.

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