Liftoff! NASA astronaut among three on their way to the International Space Station

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Wednesday, June 6, 2018
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NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor, along with two others, took off from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan -- NASA astronaut Serena Aunon-Chancellor will soon be among the newest additions to the crew aboard the International Space Station.

Aunon-Chancellor took off from the Russia-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, along with Sergey Prokopyev of Russia, who works for Roscosmos, and Alexander Gerst of Germany, who works for the European Space Agency.

The Russian Soyuz MS-09 ship is set to reach the ISS on Friday. The three arriving astronauts will remain aboard until December.

Already aboard the space outpost are NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, as well as Oleg Artemyev of Russia's Roscosmos. Those three are scheduled to return in October.

The crew of six will spend the coming months working on about 250 science investigations in fields such as biology, Earth science, human research, physical sciences and technology development, according to NASA.

Roscosmos said in a statement that cooperation between the U.S. and Russia in space could help improve their relationship back on Earth.

In the past 17 years, more than 230 people from 18 countries have visited the International Space Station.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.