May 12, 2009

NASA to televise Soyuz launch and docking

The U.S. space agency says it will air live TV coverage of the next Russian Soyuz mission, including launch and arrival at the International Space Station.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration said the coverage will begin Friday when the crew members leave Star City, Russia, en route to the launch site in Kazakhstan.

On May 27, Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Bob Thirsk will be aboard the Soyuz spacecraft when it lifts off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 6:34 a.m. EDT.

The Soyuz is to arrive at the space station at 8:36 a.m. EDT May 29.

The Soyuz crew will join station Russian Commander Gennady Padalka, NASA astronaut Mike Barratt and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to form the first six-person space station crew.

The event also will mark the first time ISS crew members will represent all five International Space Station partners.

NASA TV streaming video, downlink and schedule information is available at http://www.nasa.gov/ntv.