October 31, 2013

Three Space Station Crews Get Ready For Relocation, Launch, Landing

International Space Station crews commuting to and from their orbiting laboratory will be busy this November, and NASA Television will provide live coverage of their launches, landings and relocations.

Traffic starts to pick up Friday, Nov. 1. Expedition 37 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Flight Engineers Karen Nyberg of NASA and Luca Parmitano of the European Space Agency will climb into their Soyuz spacecraft, back out of one Russian Earth-facing docking spot and fly a short distance to another one at the end of the station. NASA TV coverage starts at 4 a.m. EDT. The 24-minute maneuver begins with undocking at 4:34 a.m.

The Soyuz move opens up the Rassvet docking port for another Soyuz transporting Expedition 38/39 Flight Engineer Rick Mastracchio of NASA, Soyuz Commander Mikhail Tyurin of Roscosmos and Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency to the station. Aboard their spacecraft is the Olympic torch, which is taking an out-of-this-world route -- as part of the torch relay -- to Fisht Stadium in Sochi, Russia. There, the torch will be used to light the Olympic flame at the stadium, marking the start of the 2014 winter games.

The trio is scheduled to launch at 11:14 p.m. EST Wednesday, Nov. 6 (10:14 a.m. Kazakh time on Nov. 7) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. NASA TV launch coverage begins at 10:15 p.m. Docking to Rassvet is scheduled at 5:31 a.m. on Nov. 7, with NASA TV coverage beginning at 4:45 a.m. Hatches are scheduled to open at 7:40 a.m., with NASA TV coverage starting at 7:15 a.m.

Mastracchio, Tyurin and Wakata will join Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano, plus Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos and Michael Hopkins of NASA. Their arrival will be the first time since May 2009 that nine people have served together aboard the space station without the presence of a space shuttle.

On Sunday, Nov. 10, after Yurchikhin has transferred command of the station to Kotov, the Soyuz carrying Yurchikhin, Nyberg and Parmitano will undock for a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 9:50 p.m. (8:50 a.m. Kazakh time on Nov. 11), wrapping up a 166-day mission. Hatch closure coverage begins at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 10 with a replay of the change of command ceremony. Undocking coverage begins at 6 p.m., and deorbit and landing coverage begins at 8:30 p.m.

Special video feeds of pre-launch activities by the crew will resume on Friday, Nov. 1, and continue through Wednesday, Nov. 6.

All the times of International Space Station programming, key Soyuz event coverage and other NASA Television programming can be found at: http://www.nasa.gov/stationnews

For information about the International Space Station, research and its crews, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/station


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