The Soyuz MS-05 mission to the ISS lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 1541 GMT on 28 July. The crew capsule was launched by a Russian Soyuz FG vehicle. Inside the capsule were cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy, ESA astronaut Paolo Nespoli and NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik.
They will be joining the current Expedition 52 inhabitants of the station, cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, and NASA astronauts Jack Fischer, and Peggy Whitson. Expedition 52 is scheduled to return to Earth on 3 September, handing over to the recently arrived Expedition 53. For the duration of the combined Expedition 52/53 period there will four US Orbital Segment (USOS) members and just two Russian Orbital Segment (ROS) members. This is opposed to the usual 3/3 split between the two Orbital segments, brought on by the recent decision by Roscomos to temporarily reduce its orbital presence in order to help finance the upcoming Multi-purpose Laboratory Module (MLM).
Following the launch and an on-target orbital insertion, the Soyuz capsule was able to conduct a “fast-track” rendezvous with the ISS, targeted for 2200 GMT. This was completed slightly ahead of schedule with docking confirmed at 2154 GMT. After pressurisation procedures were completed the hatch was officially opened at 2357 GMT.
The Expedition 53 crew members are scheduled to remain on-board the ISS until 14 December. They will be joined by Expedition 54 around 13-14 September.