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Watch Live: Soyuz Fast-Track Launch to the Space Station

Expedition 36/37 Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), top, Flight Engineers: Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency, center, and Karen Nyberg of NASA, bottom, wave farewell as they board the Soyuz rocket ahead of their launch to the International Space Station, Wednesday, May 29, 2013, Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.

Expedition 36/37 Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), top, Flight Engineers: Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency, center, and Karen Nyberg of NASA, bottom, wave farewell as they board the Soyuz rocket ahead of their launch to the International Space Station, Wednesday, May 29, 2013, Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.

Three new International Space Station crew members are set to launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Launch is scheduled for is 20:31 UTC (4:31 p.m. EDT) Tuesday (2:31 a.m. May 29, Baikonur time). The new Expedition 36 crew will take an accelerated four-orbit, 6-hour journey to Space Station. They will be docking at 02:17 UTC on May 29 (10:17 pm. EDT May 28). You can watch Live NASA TV coverage below, which begins an hour before launch (19:30 UTC, 3:30 p.m. EDT), and live coverage will return about 45 minutes before docking.

The new crew includes Soyuz Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), NASA astronaut Karen Nyberg and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Luca Parmitano.
UPDATE: If you missed the launch live, you can watch a replay, below.



Live Video streaming by Ustream

The crew will dock their Soyuz to the station’s Rassvet module. After the hatches open, the new trio will join Flight Engineer Chris Cassidy of NASA and Commander Pavel Vinogradov and Flight Engineer Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos who docked with the orbital complex May 28. All six crew members will then participate in a welcome ceremony with family members and mission officials gathered at the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev near Moscow.

In the past, Soyuz manned capsules and Progress supply ships were launched on trajectories that required about two days, or 34 orbits, to reach the ISS. The new fast-track trajectory has the rocket launching shortly after the ISS passes overhead. Then, additional firings of the vehicle’s thrusters early in its mission expedites the time required for a Russian vehicle to reach the Station.

This is the second Soyuz crew vehicle to make the accelerated trip, and three Progress resupply ships have also taken the fast track to the ISS.

The Service arms are raised into position around the Soyuz rocket, with the TMA-09M spacecraft, after arriving at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad by train, Sunday, May 26, 2013, in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.

The Service arms are raised into position around the Soyuz rocket, with the TMA-09M spacecraft, after arriving at the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad by train, Sunday, May 26, 2013, in Kazakhstan. Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls.

You can see more images from the Expedition 36 launch and pre-launch activities at NASA HQ’s Flickr page.

About 

Nancy Atkinson is Universe Today's Senior Editor. She also works with Astronomy Cast, and is a NASA/JPL Solar System Ambassador.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Kevin Frushour May 28, 2013, 8:13 PM

    I want a camera on the front of the Soyuz, and then a time lapse of the (now shorter) trip, launch to ISS.

    And then I want someone to post it on YouTube to Yakkety-sax.

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