The International Space Station's Expedition 53 crew will return to Earth overnight tonight on a Soyuz space capsule after a nearly six-month space mission and you can watch it all live here, beginning at 8:30 p.m. EST (0130 GMT). They will land on the steppes of Kazakhstan early Thursday, Dec. 14, at 3:38 a.m. EDT (0838 GMT).
The Soyuz spacecraft will return NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy to Earth to end their Expedition 53 mission aboard the station. The trio will leave behind NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Joe Acaba and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin, who will stay aboard the station as its Expedition 54 crew.
Here's NASA's TV scheduled for the landing:
7:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 13 - ISS Expedition 53/54 Change of Command Ceremony
(Bresnik hands over ISS command to Misurkin) (Starts at 7:35 a.m.) (all channels)
4 p.m., Wednesday, December 13 - Coverage of the RS-25 Rocket Engine Test Firing (all channels)
8:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 13 - ISS Expedition 53 Farewells and Hatch Closure Coverage (Ryazanskiy, Bresnik, Nespoli); hatch closure scheduled at appx. 9 p.m. ET) (all channels)
9:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 13 - Live Feed of the Geminids Meteor Shower from NASA’s Automated Lunar and Meteor Observatory in Huntsville, Alabama (NTV-1 (Public))
11:30 p.m., Wednesday, December 13 - ISS Expedition 53/Soyuz MS-05 Undocking Coverage(Ryazanskiy, Bresnik, Nespoli); undocking scheduled at 12:14 a.m. ET Dec. 14) (Starts at 11:45 p.m.) (all channels)
TBD, Thursday, December 14 - Live Feed of the Geminids Meteor Shower from NASA’s Automated Lunar and Meteor Observatory in Huntsville, Alabama- MSFC (NTV-1) (NTV-1 (Public))
2 a.m., Thursday, December 14 - ISS Expedition 53/Soyuz MS-05 Deorbit Burn and Landing Coverage(Ryazanskiy, Bresnik, Nespoli); deorbit burn scheduled at 2:44 a.m. ET; landing near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan scheduled at 3:38 a.m. ET) (Starts at 2:15 a.m.) (all channels)
6 a.m., Thursday, December 14 - Video File of the ISS Expedition 53/Soyuz MS-05 Hatch Closure,Undocking, Landing and Post-Landing Activities (Ryazanskiy, Bresnik, Nespoli) (NTV-3 (Media))
7 p.m., Thursday, December 14 - Video File of the ISS Expedition 53/Soyuz MS-05 Post-Landing CrewActivities in Karaganda, Kazakhstan (may include post-landing interviews with Commander Randy Bresnik of NASA and Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency) (NTV-3 (Media))
Friday, Dec. 15: SpaceX Dragon Launch to ISS
SpaceX will launch a cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station no earlier than Friday (Dec. 15), and you can watch it live in the window above, courtesy of NASA TV. The SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 10:35 a.m. EST (1535 GMT). A webcast of the launch with live commentary from SpaceX will begin at 10 a.m. EST (1500 GMT). A post-launch briefing with representatives from NASA and SpaceX will broadcast live at 12 p.m. EST (1700 GMT).
The Dragon cargo craft is expected to arrive at the space station on Sunday (Dec. 17) at 6 a.m. EST (1100 GMT), and NASA TV will begin airing live coverage of the rendezvous and capture beginnning at 4:30 a.m. EST (0930 GMT). Coverage of the spacecraft's installation will begin at 7:30 a.m. EST (1230 GMT).
This will be the first time SpaceX will fly a pre-flown Dragon spacecraft on a pre-flown Falcon 9 first stage rocket booster. It will also be the first time that SpaceX will launch from Cape Canaveral's Complex 40 following an explosion in September 2016.
Read our preview story: SpaceX Will Launch Its Most Reused Rocket Yet on Wednesday
"NASA commercial cargo provider SpaceX is now targeting its 13th commercial resupply services mission to the International Space Station for no earlier than 11:46 a.m. EST Tuesday, Dec. 12.
"Mission coverage will begin on NASA Television and the agency's website Monday, Dec. 11 with two news briefings.
"Packed with almost 4,800 pounds of research, crew supplies and hardware, the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft will launch on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida."
"About 10 minutes after launch on Dec. 12, Dragon will reach its preliminary orbit and deploy its solar arrays. A carefully choreographed series of thruster firings are scheduled to bring the spacecraft to rendezvous with the space station. NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei and Joe Acaba will capture Dragon using the space station’s robotic arm. Ground controllers will then send commands to robotically install the spacecraft on the station’s Harmony module.
"The Dragon spacecraft will spend approximately one month attached to the space station, returning to Earth on Jan. 13 with results of previous experiments."