The next three crew members bound for the International Space Station are set to launch Wednesday, July 6. Live launch coverage will begin at 8:30 p.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, cosmonaut Anatoly Ivanishin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and astronaut Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will launch at 9:36 p.m. (7:36 a.m. Baikonur time, July 7) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. All three will spend approximately four months on the orbital complex, returning to Earth in October.
The trio will travel in an upgraded Soyuz spacecraft, testing modified systems for two days – and 34 Earth orbits – before docking to the space station’s Rassvet module at 12:12 a.m. Saturday, July 9. NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 11:30 p.m. Friday, July 8.
Hatches between the Soyuz and station will be opened about 2:50 a.m. Saturday, when the newly arrived crew will be greeted by Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams of NASA and Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos. NASA TV coverage of hatch opening and welcoming ceremonies will begin at 2:30 a.m.
Together, the Expedition 48 crew members will continue the several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science currently under way and scheduled to take place aboard humanity’s only orbiting laboratory.
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