The next three crew members bound for the International Space Station are set to launch Wednesday, July 22. NASA Television will provide coverage of the launch and the crew’s arrival at the orbiting laboratory less than six hours later.
Kjell Lindgren of NASA, Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and Kimiya Yui of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:02 p.m. EDT (3:02 a.m. Thursday, July 23 in Baikonur). NASA TV coverage will begin at 4 p.m.
The trio will ride to space in a Russian Soyuz spacecraft, which will rendezvous with the space station and dock after four orbits of Earth. Docking to the space station’s Rassvet module will take place at 10:46 p.m. NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 10 p.m.
The crew will open the hatches between the Soyuz and the station around 12:25 a.m. Thursday, July 23. Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of Roscosmos, as well as Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos, will greet Lindgren, Kononenko and Yui. NASA TV hatch opening coverage begins at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday.
Lindgren, Kononenko and Yui will remain aboard the station until late December. Kelly and Kornienko, who have been aboard since March 27, will return to Earth in March 2016 at the end of their one-year mission. Padalka, who also has been aboard since March 27, will return to Earth in September, leaving Kelly in command of Expedition 45.
Together the six crew members will continue the several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science currently underway and scheduled to take place aboard humanity’s only orbital outpost.
You can check out the full schedule of prelaunch, launch, and docking coverage, as well as NASA TV schedules and video streaming information.
Photo courtesy: NASA