Purdue graduate among those heading to International Space Station

NASA astronauts Drew Feustel (Photo courtesy of NASA)

MOSCOW — Two American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut are on their way to the International Space Station.

A Soyuz rocket carrying the three men blasted off Wednesday from the Russia-leased Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan. On board the capsule were NASA astronauts Drew Feustel and Ricky Arnold, and Roscosmos’ cosmonaut Oleg Artemyev.

Feustel is a Purdue University graduate. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Solid Earth Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Geophysics.

Before launch, Feustel thanked everybody for their support on Twitter.

The spacecraft is set to dock at the orbiting outpost on Friday.

The trio will join station residents Anton Shkaplerov of Roscosmos, Scott Tingle of NASA and Norishige Kanai of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency. The new crew will spend about five months at the space station.

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