Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Soyuz Rocket Launches To International Space Station


UPDATE: The Soyuz spacecraft successfully launched and rendezvoused with the International Space Station.

BAIKONUR COSMODROME, Kazakhstan -  In just minutes, a new Soyuz rocket will lift off from its launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazahkstan. The Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft is scheduled to launch on Tuesday at 6:03 a.m. EST/11:03 a.m. UTC (5:03 p.m. Kazakh time) carrying three new crew members on a six-hour trip to the International Space Station.

Veteran cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko will command the Soyuz vehicle alongside NASA astronaut Tim Kopra and British astronaut Tim Peake. The crew will be living and working in space for the next six months on advanced science benefitting life on Earth and future crews in space.

Malenchenko is the most experienced member of this trio with 641 days in space. He is embarking on his fourth space station mission.  He also lived on Russia’s last space station Mir and flew aboard space shuttle Atlantis. This will be Kopra’s second station residency, having spent 58 days in space as an Expedition 20 Flight Engineer. Peake will be Britain’s first astronaut to go to the International Space Station and this will be his first mission.

Image and live stream credit: NASA TV