Expedition 38 To Launch Tonight At 11:14 p.m.

By  //  November 6, 2013

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CREW TO TAKE SPACE WALK WITH OLYMPIC TORCH

ABOUT VIDEO: Flight Engineer Mike Hopkins works inside the Kibo laboratory participating in the SPHERES-RING experiment.

A Soyuz rocket carrying the Expedition 38 crew to the International Space Station will blasts off today from Kazakhstan at 11:14 p.m. EST.

Flight Engineer Mike Hopkins. (NASA.gov image)

Flight Engineer Mike Hopkins. (NASA.gov image)

The ISS launch will carry three flight engineers; Koichi Wakata, from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency; NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio; and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin. The crew will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, located in Kazakhstan, aboard a Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft. The flight to the ISS will take six hours followed by a two hour docking procedure.

After four orbits they will dock to the Rassvet docking compartment at 5:31 a.m. Thursday. The Soyuz and station hatches will open about two hours later when they will be greeted by six station crew members.

The three flight engineers will replace Expedition 37 crew members Luca Parmitano, from the European Space Agency, Karen Nyberg, from NASA, and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin. The three Expedition 37 members will leave the ISS on Sunday, Nov. 10, reports NASA. Fellow cosmonaut Oleg Kotov, who arrived at the ISS in September, will replace Yurchikhin as commander.

BUSY WEEK SCHEDULED ABOARD SPACE STATION

The six-member Expedition 37 crew is ramping up for a busy week ahead on the International Space Station.

SPHERES-RINGS (Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) seeks to demonstrate wireless power transfer between satellites at a distance for enhanced operations. (NASA.gov image)

SPHERES-RINGS (Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) seeks to demonstrate wireless power transfer between satellites at a distance for enhanced operations. (NASA.gov image)

In addition to the Soyuz rocket that will deliver three new crew members, a spacewalk will take place on Saturday. Finally, another three crew members will return to Earth on Sunday.

Meanwhile, a full array of international science experiments, sponsored by both public and private organizations, is continuing.

Flight Engineer Mike Hopkins worked throughout Monday on the SPHERES-RINGS experiment that studies relative station-keeping, maneuvering, and attitude control between two satellites.

KOTOV, RYAZANSKIY TO TAKE SPACE WALK WITH OLYMPIC TORCH

SPHERES-RINGS (Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites) seeks to demonstrate wireless power transfer between satellites at a distance for enhanced operations.

A spacewalk will take place Saturday when Kotov and Ryazanskiy carry the Olympic torch outside the station. The torch, delivered by Expedition 38 and returning home with Expedition 37, will light the flame at the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. (NASA.gov image)

A spacewalk will take place Saturday when Kotov and Ryazanskiy carry the Olympic torch outside the station. The torch, delivered by Expedition 38 and returning home with Expedition 37, will light the flame at the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia. (NASA.gov image)

A new trio of Expedition 38 flight engineers will blast off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 11:14 p.m. EST Wednesday aboard a Soyuz TMA-11M spacecraft. They will be on a trip to the International Space Station that will take just over six hours.

A spacewalk will take place Saturday when Kotov and Ryazanskiy carry the Olympic torch outside the station. The torch, delivered by Expedition 38 and returning home with Expedition 37, will light the flame at the opening of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

The cosmonaut spacewalkers on Monday reviewed the paths they will translate outside the station to get to their work sites.

“The home-bound crew members prepared for their departure Monday by packing personal items and gathering trash for disposal on Earth.”

They also pressurized their Russian Orlan spacesuits and transferred them to the Pirs docking compartment where they will stage their spacewalk.

Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano will end their stay on the space station Sunday, the day after the spacewalk. They will undock from the Zvezda docking compartment aboard the Soyuz TMA-09M spacecraft. When the Expedition 37 trio returns home they will have completed a 5-1/2 month stay in space. They moved their spacecraft from the Rassvet module last week to make room for the arrival of Expedition 38.

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