NASA is launching a Soyuz rocket carrying the Expedition 38 crew to the International Space Station on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 11:14 p.m. EST. NASA will live stream the event at Times Square but for viewers that cannot make it to New York City the space agency will provide a video feed of the launch.
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.
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.
NASA will provide a live stream, as they have done previously, of the ISS launch but have added a unique public viewing event for the occasion. NASA will show the launch from the Times Square Toshiba vision screen, located at One Times Square, beginning at 10:15 p.m. EST until 11:45 p.m. EST.
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William Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for human exploration and operations, said in a statement, “The space station serves as a unique laboratory for researchers around the world, home to astronauts from multiple countries, and was built with international cooperation, so it's fitting to show the launch of the next crew in the most cosmopolitan city in the United States.”
Wednesday’s launch is just the beginning of an incredibly busy schedule for the ISS crew, notes NASA. Mike Hopkins, a NASA flight engineer, has been working on the Synchronized Position, Hold, Engage, Reorient, Experimental Satellites, SPHERES-RINGS, experiment which “seeks to demonstrate wireless power transfer between satellites at a distance for enhanced operations.” After the Soyuz launch, a spacewalk is scheduled for Saturday that will see Kotov and cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy carry the 2014 Winter Olympic torch outside of the ISS. The week concludes with the departure of the three Expedition 37 crew members on Sunday.
The ISS launch live stream can be viewed below, beginning at 10:15 p.m. EST.