WATCH LIVE: Expedition 59 Crew Launch to International Space Station

By  //  March 14, 2019

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crew members will dock to the Rassvet module

ABOVE VIDEO: Two American astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut are set to join the crew aboard the International Space Station Thursday, March 14.

(NASA) –The Soyuz carrying three Expedition 59 crew members launched at 3:14 p.m. EDT, Thursday, March 14. 

NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch and Alexey Ovchinin of the Russian space agency Roscosmos launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft from the Baikonour Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for a mission to the International Space Station as members of Expeditions 59 and 60.

Docking coverage begins live on NASA TV at 8:45 p.m. EDT.

Coverage of the Expedition 59 crew’s launch and docking activities are as follows (all times EDT):

Thursday, March 14:

2 p.m. – Soyuz MS-12 launch coverage (launch at 3:14 p.m.)
8:45 p.m. – Docking coverage (docking scheduled for 9:07 p.m.)
10:30 p.m. – Hatch opening and welcome coverage

NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch, and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, are set to launch aboard the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft at 3:14 p.m. EDT (12:14 a.m. March 15 Kazakhstan time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a six-hour journey to the station. (NASA.gov image)

NASA astronauts Nick Hague and Christina Koch, and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, are set to join the crew aboard the International Space Station on Thursday, March 14. (NASA image)

A full complement of video of the crew’s pre-launch activities in Baikonur will air on NASA TV in the days preceding launch.

The crew members of Expeditions 59 and 60 will continue work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science and Earth science aboard the humanity’s only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory.

McClain, Saint-Jacques, Hague and Koch also are all scheduled for the first spacewalks of their careers to continue upgrades to the orbital laboratory.

McClain and Hague are scheduled to begin work to upgrade the power system March 22, and McClain and Koch will complete the upgrades to two station power channels during a March 29 spacewalk.

This will be the first-ever spacewalk with all-female spacewalkers. Hague and Saint-Jacques will install hardware for a future science platform during an April 8 spacewalk.

Hague and Ovchinin are completing a journey that was cut short Oct. 11, when a booster separation problem with their Soyuz rocket’s first stage triggered a launch abort two minutes into the flight.

They landed safely a few minutes later, after reaching the fringes of space, and were reassigned to fly again after McClain, Kononenko and Saint-Jacques launched in early December.

This will be Ovchinin’s third flight into space, the second for Hague and the first for Koch. Hague, Koch, and McClain are from NASA’s 2013 astronaut class, half of which were women—the highest percentage of female astronaut candidates ever selected for a class.

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