NASA Wants Companies To Take Over the International Space Station

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NASA is making it easy for stargazers and fans of space travel to watch the Wednesday morning, June 6 launch of three astronauts heading to the International Space Station from Kazakhstan.

NASA's Serena Aunon-Chancellor, Alexander Gerst of the European Space Agency (ESA) and Sergey Prokopyev of Russian space agency Roscosmos - are now safely in orbit, NASA said in a blog post.

The trio is set to dock with the International Space Station's Rassvet module Friday.

The space agency plans to live-stream the docking process and also show the astronauts moving from the spacecraft to the ISS to join the current crew: Americans Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, and Latvian Oleg Artemyev. The crew is scheduled to work on some of the roughly 250 experiments and studies underway at the station during their planned five month stay.

Whether they're Republicans or Democrats, Americans can still agree on one thing: Space is cool.

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You can catch the coverage from 8:15 a.m. ET, with the docking expected to take place at 9:07 a.m. ET.

"The crew will orbit Earth 34 times before the spacecraft's arrival and docking", NASA announced in an update. The three arriving astronauts will remain aboard until December.

When asked to rate the importance of nine specific missions found in NASA's diverse portfolio, majorities say monitoring key parts of the Earth's climate system or monitoring asteroids and other objects that could hit Earth should be top priorities for NASA (63% and 62% respectively).

The capsule has already made several trips to and from the space station, taking supplies and other cargo.

Russian astronaut Anton Shkaplerov, Norishige Kanai of Japan and American Scott Tingle will end their 168 day mission, handing over command to the Expedition 56 crew.

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