Astronaut, Cosmonaut And Stuffed Dog Arrive At International Space Station

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasted off Thursday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Dmitri Lovetsky/AP hide caption

toggle caption

Dmitri Lovetsky/AP

A Soyuz spacecraft carrying a new crew to the International Space Station, ISS, blasted off Thursday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Dmitri Lovetsky/AP

In case you ever find yourself hurtling into space, know this: When the little stuffed dog starts to float, that’s when you’ve reached Earth’s orbit.

NASA astronaut Jack Fischer and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin lifted off from Kazakhstan on Thursday, bound for the International Space Station. About nine minutes into their voyage, the stuffed dog leaped into the air, then began to drift at the end of the string around its neck. (The dog is the latest in an adorable tradition of stuffed animals in space.)

YouTube

There was a rare extra seat in the Soyuz capsule; Reuters reports that Russia is scaling back its space station staffing as it prepares to prepares to send a laboratory to the ISS next year.

It’s the fifth mission to the space station for Yurchikhin, but the first for Fischer, who he says there is one aspect of space station life that you can’t train for on Earth: using a zero-gravity toilet.

“It’s all about suction, it’s really difficult,” Fischer said in a NASA interview before launch. “You just can’t train for that on the ground, so I approach my space-toilet activities with respect, preparation and a healthy dose of sheer terror.”

Just six hours after launch, the pair docked at the space station. They were welcomed by Flight Engineers Oleg Novitskiy of Russia and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, as well as Expedition 51 Commander Peggy Whitson of NASA, who on Monday will break the record for longest time spent in space by a U.S. astronaut. She’s due to return to Earth in September.

Coming from Earth, here are soon-to-be members of #Exp51! On this Soyuz are my two good friends @Astro2fish & Fyodor https://t.co/L3ZfTNTyxupic.twitter.com/zU2rncdjBz

— Thomas Pesquet (@Thom_astro) April 20, 2017

On Saturday, NASA will livestream video of the Orbital ATK Cygnus cargo spacecraft rendezvous and capture at the International Space Station. The cargo craft took off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Tuesday.

With the arrival of two new crew members, @Space_Station now has 5 people living onboard. Hatch opened at 11:25am ET https://t.co/mzKW5uDsTipic.twitter.com/VaPbtvw0CP

— NASA (@NASA) April 20, 2017

Read More at NPR News

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

5 Healthy Ways This Fitness Star Is Prepping for Her Wedding
4 Healthy Reasons to Eat Avocados
The Salad Trend You Didn’t Know You Needed
Got 30 Minutes? The Ultimate HIIT Jump Rope Workout
5 Healthy Ways This Fitness Star Is Prepping for Her Wedding
4 Ideas for Using Herbs You Probably Haven’t Thought Of
Bobbi Brown’s Top 10 Superfoods for Beauty and the Fun Way She Eats Them
Lena Dunham’s Trainer Tracy Anderson Says She Wanted to ‘Feel Better’ and Not Make Her Body ‘Look Different’
The Easy Frozen Yogurt Dessert You’ll Be Eating All Summer Long
A Food-Lover’s Mother’s Day Gift Guide
4 Foolproof Tips to Make Healthy Veggie Chips at Home
4 Healthy Reasons to Eat Avocados
No Preview
WHO says India reports cases of Zika virus
Two Scientists, Two Different Approaches To Saving Bees From Poison Dust
How A Gene Editing Tool Went From Labs To A Middle-School Classroom
Sensory and diet therapies for autism lack strong evidence