NASA TV Coverage Set for Next Soyuz Space Station Crew Launch
WASHINGTON -- NASA Television will provide extensive coverage of the launch and docking of the next crew members who will fly to the International Space Station on Tuesday, May 28.
Expedition 36/37 Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg of NASA, Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency are scheduled to launch at 4:31 p.m. EDT (2:31 a.m. Kazakh time May 29), from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
They will dock their Soyuz capsule to the Earth-facing Rassvet module of the space station at 10:17 p.m. following an expedited four-orbit rendezvous.
NASA TV coverage will begin at 3:30 p.m., and include video of all pre-launch activities that day leading to the crew boarding its spacecraft. Docking coverage begins at 9:30 p.m.
At 11:55 p.m., hatches between the Soyuz and space station will open and Nyberg, Yurchikhin and Parmitano will be greeted by Expedition 36 Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight engineer Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos and Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy of NASA. That trio has been aboard the station since late March. Hatch opening coverage begins at 11:30 p.m.
Nyberg, Yurchikhin and Parmitano will remain aboard the station until mid-November. Cassidy, Vinogradov and Misurkin will return to Earth in mid-September, leaving Yurchikhin as the Expedition 37 commander.
Pictured on the front row are Expedition 36 Commander Pavel Vinogradov (left) and Flight Engineer Fyodor Yurchikhin. Pictured from the left (back row) are Flight Engineers Alexander Misurkin, Chris Cassidy, Luca Parmitano and Karen Nyberg. Photo credit: NASA
ESA astronaut Luca Parmitano left for Baikonur, Kazakhstan today, his last stop before heading to the International Space Station on 28 May.
His launch on a Soyuz rocket will be the culmination of more than two years of preparation that has seen Luca training in Russia, Canada, Japan, Europe and the US at facilities of the Station partners.
The trip from Moscow to Baikonur is more than 2000 km, roughly five times the distance to their next home in space. Luca’s Soyuz will arrive at the orbital outpost in under seven hours – only two hours longer than today’s plane journey to the launch site.
The crew will stay at the traditional Cosmonaut Hotel for the last days before launch. Luca, Fyodor and Karen will be quarantined to make sure they do not take any unwanted bacteria or viruses to the Space Station. Family and support personnel such as flight surgeons will be the only people allowed to stay with them.
Cosmonauts Pavel Vinogradov, Alexander Misurkin and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy are already on the Station and will welcome the new Expedition when the Soyuz docks on 29 May.
Luca’s Volare mission is provided through an agreement with Italy’s ASI space agency. His busy schedule of science and maintenance involves two spacewalks to install new equipment and retrieve experiments.
Watch the launch live on 28 May from 20:00 GMT (22:00 CEST) and follow the Volare blog for updates from the mission directors and Luca himself.
At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the Expedition 36/37 prime and backup crews pose for pictures in the Korolev Museum May 24 following the final "fit check" dress rehearsal before launch. From left to right are backup Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, backup Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of Russia and backup Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA, prime Flight Engineer Karen Nyberg of NASA, prime Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of Russia and prime Flight Engineer Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency. Nyberg, Yurchikhin and Parmitano are preparing for launch May 29, Kazakh time, in the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft to begin a 5 ½ month mission on the International Space Station. Photo credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov