Two NASA astronauts are among the three crew members poised to launch for a five-month stay aboard the International Space Station, and NASA Television will provide extensive coverage of their prelaunch activities, launch and their arrival on their orbital outpost.
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Expedition 53-54 Flight Engineers Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba of NASA and Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos are scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 5:17 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 12 (3:17 a.m. Baikonur time on Sept. 13) aboard the Soyuz MS-06 spacecraft. Launch coverage will begin at 4:15 p.m. on NASA Television and the agency’s website. A full complement of video of the crew’s prelaunch activities in Baikonur will air on NASA TV in the days preceding launch.
After their launch, the trio will travel on a fast-track, six-hour path to the space station, where they are expected to dock at 10:57 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12. NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 10:15 p.m.
Hatches between the Soyuz and the space station will open at about 12:40 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13. The arriving crew will be welcomed on board by Expedition 53 Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA and Flight Engineers Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Paolo Nespoli of the ESA (European Space Agency). NASA TV coverage of the hatch opening and welcoming ceremonies will begin at 12 a.m. Sept. 13.
The crew members of Expedition 53-54 will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the International Space Station, humanity’s only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory.