Launch Alert! Watch Live As Three People Rocket To Space Today

In a few hours, you’ll be able to watch three crew members of Expedition 40/41 rocket to space — live from Kazakhstan!

At 3:57 p.m. EDT (7:57 p.m. UTC) a rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft is expected to lift off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, carrying Reid Wiseman (NASA), Alexander Gerst (ESA) and Maxim Suraev (Roscosmos). Full schedule details are below.

NASA TV will turn on the cameras at 3 p.m. EDT (7 p.m. UTC) and stay on the crew until after they make it to orbit. If all goes to plan, NASA TV will then resume coverage at 9 p.m. EDT (1 p.m. UTC) for docking to the International Space Station 48 minutes later.

Next comes the hatch opening. NASA will start coverage at 11 p.m. EDT (3 a.m. UTC) for the opening about 25 minutes later. Greeting the arriving crew members will be the other half of the Expedition 40 crew: Steve Swanson (NASA), Alexander Skvortsov (Roscosmos) and Oleg Artemyev (Roscosmos). The incoming crew traditionally participates in a televised chat with their families once they are a little settled in.

Because these are live events, all schedules are subject to change. Make sure to follow the NASA Twitter feed for any adjustments. For example, during the last launch the Soyuz spacecraft failed to make a burn to bring the crew members to the station quickly, making the crew go to a standard backup procedure that brought them to the station about two days later. No one was at risk, NASA said, and the delayed docking happened flawlessly.

By the way, all three crew members are on Twitter: @astro_alex, @astro_reid and @msuraev.

Elizabeth Howell

Elizabeth Howell is the senior writer at Universe Today. She also works for, Space Exploration Network, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, NASA Astrobiology Magazine and LiveScience, among others. Career highlights include watching three shuttle launches, and going on a two-week simulated Mars expedition in rural Utah. You can follow her on Twitter @howellspace or contact her at her website.

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