Three crew members headed to the International Space Station are scheduled to launch on Friday, Sept. 23. Live launch coverage will begin at 1:15 p.m. EDT on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, along with cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, will launch at 2:16 p.m. from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan (12:16 a.m. Sept. 24, Baikonur time). The Expedition 49/50 crew will spend approximately five months together aboard the orbital complex before returning to Earth in late February.
Between launch and docking to the space station, the trio will spend two days in the Soyuz MS-02 testing upgrades to the spacecraft’s various systems. The team will dock to the space station’s Poisk module at 3:32 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25. NASA TV coverage of the docking will begin at 2:45 p.m.
Hatches between the Soyuz and station will open at approximately 6:10 p.m. Sunday, and NASA TV coverage of hatch opening and welcoming ceremonies will begin at 5:45 p.m. The arriving crew will be welcomed by Expedition 49 Commander Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos and Flight Engineers Kate Rubins of NASA and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, who have been on the station since July.
The soon-to-be six crew members of Expedition 49 will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard humanity’s only microgravity laboratory.
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Johnson Space Center, Houston