Expedition 64 NASA Astronauts Set for International Space Station Crew Launch Aboard Soyuz Spacecraft

By  //  October 10, 2020

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Astronauts will launch from Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Expedition 64 NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, left, and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov, center, and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, right, of Roscosmos take a moment during the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft fit check to pose for a photograph, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. (NASA image)

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – A trio of space travelers is poised to launch to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, Oct. 14.

NASA Television will provide comprehensive coverage of launch and docking.

Kate Rubins of NASA and Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of the Russian space agency Roscosmos are preparing to launch aboard the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft Wednesday, Oct. 14, at 1:45 a.m. EDT (10:45 a.m. Kazakhstan time) on a two-orbit, three-hour journey to dock to the station’s Rassvet module for the start of a six-month mission on the orbital outpost.

Launch coverage on NASA Television will begin at 12:45 a.m. It will be the second flight for Rubins and Ryzhikov and the first for Kud-Sverchkov.

After their fast-track transit, the new crew members will dock to the station at 4:52 a.m. NASA TV coverage of rendezvous and docking will begin at 4 a.m.

They will join Expedition 63 Commander Chris Cassidy of NASA and Roscosmos cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner, who have been aboard the complex since April.

Less than two hours after docking, hatches between the newly arrived Soyuz spacecraft and the station will open, and the six crew members will greet each other. (NASA image)

Less than two hours after docking, hatches between the newly arrived Soyuz spacecraft and the station will open, and the six crew members will greet each other.

NASA TV coverage of the hatch opening will begin at 6 a.m. Cassidy, Ivanishin, and Vagner are scheduled to depart the space station and land on Earth on the steppe of Kazakhstan Wednesday, Oct. 21, U.S. time, in the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft that brought them to the station on April 9.

A change of command ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 20. Although launching as part of the Expedition 63 crew, Rubins, Ryzhikov, and Kud-Sverchkov will become the Expedition 64 crew under Ryzhikov’s command upon the departure of Cassidy, Ivanishin, and Vagner.

The crew members of Expedition 64 will continue to work on hundreds of experiments in biology, biotechnology, physical science, and Earth science aboard the International Space Station, humanity’s only permanently occupied microgravity laboratory.

Expedition 64 will also be on board for the planned arrival of NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 mission on Nov. 1, bringing NASA astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency astronaut Soichi Noguchi to the space station aboard the Crew Dragon vehicle.

This first operational mission of the Crew Dragon is scheduled to launch to the station Oct. 31, following a successful Demo-2 mission earlier this year.

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