TIME space

Astronauts Successfuly Join Colleagues on the International Space Station

The crew is slated to stay in space for five months, returning on Dec. 22.

Three astronauts have docked with the International Space Station and are joining three existing members on board the station for the next five months.

The three astronauts arriving at the International Space Station include American astronaut Kjell Lindgren and Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui, who are flying for the first time. They are led by Soyuz commander Oleg Kononenko. The crew is slated to stay onboard for five months, returning on Dec. 22.

The trio will join American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka, who have already been in space for 117 days. They launched in the early hours of March 28.

TIME is following the yearlong mission between American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. Click here to watch the series, or watch Episode 1, “Leaving Home,” below.

TIME space

Watch Astronauts Dock With the International Space Station

The crew is slated to stay in space for five months, returning on Dec. 22.

After a successful launch, three astronauts are slated to dock with the International Space Station at 10:46 p.m. E.T. on Wednesday.

The astronauts launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soyuz rocket at 5:02 p.m. EST. Over six hours, the crew orbited the Earth four times as they caught up with the space station, which orbits the Earth at 17,500 mph.

The three astronauts arriving at the International Space Station include American astronaut Kjell Lindgren and Japanese astronaut Kimiya Yui, who are flying for the first time. They are led by Soyuz commander Oleg Kononenko. The crew is slated to stay in space for five months, returning on Dec. 22.

The trio will join Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka, who have already been in space for 117 days. They launched in the early hours of March 28.

TIME is following the yearlong mission between American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. Click here to watch the series, or watch Episode 1, “Leaving Home,” below.

TIME space

Watch 3 Astronauts Launch for the International Space Station

Three astronauts who will spend the next five months in space launched from the desert in Kazakhstan on Wednesday.

The astronauts launched to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard a Soyuz rocket at 5:02 p.m. EST. Over six hours, the crew orbited the Earth four times before catching up to the space station, docking at 10:46 p.m. EST.

The astronauts’ launch was delayed after two consecutive failures of cargo vehicles that were meant to deliver supplies to the International Space Station.

The first setback occurred in April when the Russian Federal Space Agency was not able to regain control of a vehicle after launch. As a result, the Progress vehicle and the cargo it was carrying burned up in Earth’s atmosphere.

The second failure occurred on June 28 when the SpaceX Falcon exploded just two minutes after the launch.

The unsuccessful supply missions created a ripple effect through the public and private agencies that work with the International Space Station, delaying American astronaut Scott Kelly and Kjell Lindgren’s planned first spacewalk, which was supposed to occur between Aug. 10 and Labor Day. The failures also delayed work on the reconfiguration of the space station for the arrival of commercial cargo and crew vehicles.

The three astronauts arriving at the International Space Station on Wednesday include Lindgren and Kimiya Yui, who are flying for the first time. They are led by Soyuz commander Oleg Kononenko. The crew is slated to stay in space for five months, returning on Dec. 22.

The trio will join Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka, who have already been in space for 117 days. They launched in the early hours of March 28.

TIME is following the yearlong mission between American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko. Click here to watch the series, or watch Episode 1, “Leaving Home,” below.

TIME space

Exclusive: Astronaut Talks About Going to Space for the First Time

He'll be in space for five months

Today is a big day for American astronaut Kjell Lindgren. He’s going to space for the first time.

TIME spoke with Lindgren just days before he left the United States for the launch in Kazakhstan.

“I’ve been counting down the days to the launch ever since I got assigned,” he said. “You start to have very real thoughts about what it means to climb into a rocket, to launch into orbit, and spend the next five months on the space station.”

Lindgren is board certified in emergency medicine and aerospace medicine. When he’s not training to spend time in space, he is also a husband and father of three.

He recently started an Instagram account where he’ll be posting updates from his mission.

You can watch the launch live on Time.com starting at 4pm EST Wednesday.

TIME is following the yearlong mission between American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko, who are nearly four months into a yearlong mission aboard the international space station. Click here to watch the series, or watch Episode 1, “Leaving Home,” below.

TIME space

Space Junk Forces Space Station Crew to Seek Shelter

The debris was a fragment from an old Russian weather satellite

A chunk of space debris traveling more than eight miles per second forced three crew members aboard the International Space Station to seek emergency shelter on Thursday. NASA said the debris was a fragment from an old Russian weather satellite.

For almost an hour, American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonauts Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka were instructed to stay inside the Soyuz capsule, which is docked to the International Space Station. This is only the fourth time in the 15-year life of the space station that it has had to implement this procedure, NASA said.

Video aboard the station showed Kelly, Kornienko and Padalka moving throughout the station to close hatches.

“Happy there was no impact,” Kelly said via Twitter. “Great coordination with international ground teams. Excellent training.”

Normally, NASA learns about incoming debris with more lead time. When it has more warning, jets on the station fire to maneuver the football-field sized structure out of the way. The ISS has been moved twice for debris since Scott Kelly came aboard in late March. But on Thursday, the crew only had 90 minutes notice. Another hour-and-a-half later, the crew received the all-clear and went back to work.

NASA estimates there may be as many as half-a-million pieces of debris that could pose a threat to spacecraft like the International Space Station, which orbits at a speed of about 17,500 mph, or four miles per second.

The debris that crossed the space station was estimated to be traveling about twice that speed.

Next week, three more crew members are scheduled to launch from Kazakhstan to join those on board.

Kelly and Kornienko are 110 days into a yearlong mission aboard the space station. It’s being covered by time in a multi-part TIME series, “A Year in Space,” which premiered last week. Click here to watch the series, or watch Episode 1, “Leaving Home,” below.

Read next: See the First Close-Up Photo of Mars Ever Taken

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TIME politics

See the Life of Beau Biden

The Vice President's elder son, Beau, died at 46 after battling brain cancer

Beau Biden, a former Delaware Attorney General and the elder son of Vice President Joe Biden, died at 46 following a battle with brain cancer, the Vice President’s office announced Saturday.

An Iraq War veteran and recipient of the Bronze Star, Beau was remembered in a statement for his professional accomplishments and as a family man. “Beau measured himself as a husband, father, son and brother,” the Vice President said. “His absolute honor made him a role model for our family.”

The younger Biden opted against running for reelection in 2014 but had been seen as a likely contender for the Delaware governorship in 2016.

He had suffered a stroke in 2010 and, in 2013, was admitted to MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas. He is survived by his wife, Hallie, and his children, Natalie and Hunter.

TIME Behind the Photos

See the Most Dramatic Rescue From the Nepal Earthquake

A man was pulled from the rubble alive in Kathmandu after a 7.8-magnitude quake struck on Saturday

Photojournalist Narendra Shrestha was at home on Saturday when he felt the tremors of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck central Nepal, killing more than 1130 people.

“I thought I was going to die,” Shrestha tells TIME. “It was horrifying. How did I get out of this? This is my lucky day.”

As soon as the tremors began, his daughter started crying—she did not want him to leave their newly built home, which was left intact. But, Shrestha said to himself, “I should capture this. This is my job”

Shrestha, 40, a staff photographer for the European Pressphoto Agency based in Kathmandu, has worked in the region and across the world for 17 years.

Shrestha was stunned by the devastation after the quake. “Everybody is in shock,” he said.

Not far from his home in Thamel, the main tourist hub in Kathmandu, he came across a hotel under construction. An old home next to the hotel had collapsed, trapping an undetermined number of people. Shrestha estimated 40 construction workers were on site, actively searching for people who were trapped, when they found a man.

“All you could see was his head,” he said. “The rest of his body was buried.”

As they worked to uncover him it was apparent he was still alive.

With dust still in the air and a flurry of rescue workers and volunteers scrambling to find survivors, Shrestha captured the scenes of chaos before returning to his office to transmit his photos, as aftershocks continued to be felt across the region.

Shrestha also checked on his father—who has lived through numerous earthquakes. “He’s never seen anything like this,” he said

As night approached in Kathmandu, people were still in shock, he added. “Nobody is going to sleep in their homes tonight. I’m going to move my family outside. I’m just grateful my family is OK.”

TIME A Year In Space

Watch NASA’s Spectacular First GoPro Video Captured on a Spacewalk

"Video like this is the whole reason we built the camera"

GoPro’s community of thrill seekers might have been upstaged permanently by a NASA astronaut who captured stunning footage of a spacewalk using a high definition camera for the very first time.

NASA astronaut Terry Virts strapped on the point-of-view camera last February before venturing out of the International Space Station (ISS) to do some exterior housekeeping on the berthing docks. He and astronaut Barry Wilmore were reconfiguring the ports for the upcoming arrival of commercial crews.

Along the way, they captured two stunning videos, one showing the ISS’ incomparable views of earth and the other floating beneath the station’s underbelly, bristling with panels, cables and dishes.

“This was the first time an astronaut captured HD video of a spacewalk while outside,” NASA public affairs officer Dan Huot told TIME. The GoPro helmet camera used features much higher resolution than the astronauts’ current helmet-cams. “They are small, simple and have great quality,” he said.

The camera used during the space-walk works much like the kind of GoPro you can buy here on Earth, only with a one-touch power up and record function. “This makes it much easier to execute while wearing large gloves,” Huot added.

The footage is quieter and slower than the typical GoPro images of say, roof jumpers or a great white shark lunging toward the camera. But then it’s hard to top the hypnotic movement of a camera in zero gravity, where even a belt buckle, floating into the frame, can be fascinating to watch.

“Video like this is the whole reason we built the camera,” Rick Loughery, a spokesperson for GoPro, said. “To be able to share that perspective with the world.”

Read next: A Year in Space

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