The Expedition 39 crew launched to the International Space Station, aboard the Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft, on Tuesday. NASA will provide a live stream of the ISS docking as well as the hatch opening. The coverage begins at 7 p.m. EDT Thursday.
A technical glitch caused a delay and the trio of astronauts had to spend two days in space, but they will arrive at the ISS on Thursday. NASA astronaut Steve Swanson and cosmonauts Oleg Artemyev and Alexander Skvortsov boarded the Soyuz spacecraft and took flight from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, located in Kazakhstan, at 5:17 p.m. EDT. The crew was expected to dock at the ISS at 11:04 p.m. EDT and the trio would meet their fellow crew members at 12:45 a.m. EDT Friday.
The Soyuz spacecraft successfully performed two thruster burns to position itself to dock at the space station but did not complete a third thruster burn to complete the same-day rendezvous. The docking maneuver is a relatively new process, and the Expedition 39 crew launch was the fifth to use the procedure.
According to NASA, the spacecraft was in good condition and was well stocked and opted for the two-day rendezvous that was standard practice up until December 2012. Officials are currently reviewing why the third thruster burn failed, but it is believed that the Soyuz spacecraft was not at the proper altitude or position.
Just saw the Soyuz launch from station. Great view. In 6 hours we will have new crew members. pic.twitter.com/QDqsZmhbkh
— Rick Mastracchio (@AstroRM) March 25, 2014
NASA says the crew is completing the 34-orbit rendezvous and will arrive at the ISS at 7:58 p.m. EDT on Thursday. The three astronauts currently aboard the ISS, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Koichi Wakata, NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin adjusted their schedule and performed maintenance and scientific experiments through the day. The current ISS crew members will greet the new Expedition 39 crew at the hatch opening at 10:40 p.m. EDT., reports NASA.
The NASA live stream of the ISS docking procedure can be viewed below. The coverage will begin at 7 p.m. EDT and the Soyuz spacecraft will arrive at the space station at 7:58 p.m. EDT. The hatch opening live stream will begin at 10:15 p.m. EDT.