The ship with the American-Russian crew took off for the ISS

Chris Cassidy, Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner will arrive at the station later on Thursday.

The US-Russian crew on Thursday flew to the International space station from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy and Russian cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner took off at the scheduled time on the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft.

Russian authorities have taken extra precautions to protect the crew while preparing for flight amid a coronavirus pandemic. Contrary to usual, journalists were not present at the launch, but on Wednesday, the cosmonauts spoke to journalists via video link.

Cassidy said that the crew has observed a “very strict quarantine” for the past month, so all the astronauts are healthy.

Later on Thursday, the Soyuz capsule will dock with the ISS’s Poisk module. After completing the docking procedures, which will take about two hours, the hatches between the capsule and the ISS will open, and the new crew will join the cosmonauts already on the station: Commander Oleg Skripochka and NASA engineers Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir.

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