Launch Day: Kate, Anatoly and Takuya | Expedition 48-49 CrewWatch NASA TV tonight starting at 8:30pm ET: nasa.gov/nasatv
Kate Rubins of NASA, Anatoly Ivanishin of Roscosmos, center, and Takuya Onishi of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) pose for a group photograph following the crew press conference, Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. Rubins, Ivanishin, and Onishi will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan the morning of July 7, Kazakh time (July 6 Eastern time.) All three will spend approximately four months on the orbital complex, returning to Earth in October.
The trio will travel in an upgraded Soyuz spacecraft, testing modified systems for two days—and 34 Earth orbits—before docking to the space station’s Rassvet module at 12:12 a.m. Saturday, July 9. NASA TV coverage of docking will begin at 11:30 p.m. Friday, July 8.
The modified Soyuz is equipped with upgraded thrusters that are fully redundant, additional micrometeoroid debris shielding, redundant electrical motors for the Soyuz’ docking probe and increased power with more photovoltaic cells on the spacecraft’s solar arrays.
Other enhancements for the Soyuz include a new digital video transmitter and encoder to send engineering video of the ship’s approach to the station for docking, a new relay telemetry capability along with an upgraded Kurs automated rendezvous antenna and an improved satellite navigation system to better calculate the Soyuz’ position in space.
Hatches between the Soyuz and station will be opened about 2:50 a.m. Saturday, when the newly arrived crew will be greeted by Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams of NASA and Flight Engineers Oleg Skripochka and Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos. NASA TV coverage of hatch opening and welcoming ceremonies will begin at 2:30 a.m.
Together, the Expedition 48 crew members will continue the several hundred experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science currently under way and scheduled to take place aboard humanity’s only orbiting laboratory.
Check out the full NASA TV schedule and video streaming information at: www.nasa.gov/nasatv
Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crews, at: www.nasa.gov/station
Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls
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