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NASA astronaut, Russian cosmonauts launch to the space station

October 14, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Exp-64 Crew Photo - Prime; Kate Rubins, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov from GCTC

NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov launched for a six-month stay on the space station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in southern Kazakhstan early Wednesday.

(CNN)Just a few weeks ahead of the 20th anniversary of a continuous human presence in space, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov launched for a stay on the International Space Station.

An "ultrafast" rendezvous system helped deliver the crew to the station after just two orbits around the Earth "for the first time in history," according to Roscosmos, Russia's space agency.

This is the second spaceflight for Rubins and Ryzhikov and the first for Kud-Sverchkov, and they will spend six months on the space station.

Returning to the space station will allow Rubins to check some items off her bucket list.

"The space station has been separate from Earth for 20 years," Rubins said.

Sequencing DNA can reveal huge amounts of information, Rubins said, so applying sequencing to the station's microbiome can reveal a microbial picture of the space station -- and how it differs from Earth.

The 20th anniversary of a continuous human presence on the space station occurs on November 1 during the beginning of Rubins' second six-month mission.

"It's going to be incredible to have seven people on the space station," Rubins said.

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