New Space Station Crew Launches on Soyuz Rocket Today: Watch It Live

A trio of new crewmembers will launch toward the International Space Station (ISS) this morning (July 28), and you can watch the liftoff live.

NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy and the European Space Agency's Paolo Nespoli are scheduled to launch atop a Russian Soyuz rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan today at 11:41 a.m. EDT (1541 GMT, 9:41 p.m. local Baikonur time). You can watch the launch live on here beginning at 10:45 a.m. EDT (1445 GMT), courtesy of NASA TV.

If all goes according to plan, the Soyuz spacecraft carrying Bresnik, Ryazanskiy and Nespoli will arrive at the orbiting lab a little over 6 hours later, at 6 p.m. EDT ( 2200 GMT), NASA officials said. You can watch the docking between the two craft as well; coverage begins at 5:15 p.m. EDT (2115 GMT).

The newcomers will then join the three people already aboard the ISS: NASA astronauts Peggy Whitson and Jack Fischer, and cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin.

Expedition 52 flight engineers Paolo Nespoli of the European Space Agency, left; Sergey Ryazanskiy of Roscosmos; and Randy Bresnik of NASA pose for a photograph outside the Soyuz simulator. (Image credit: Bill Ingalls/NASA)

Bresnik, Ryazanskiy and Nespoli are all spaceflight veterans. Bresnik flew aboard the STS-129 mission of the space shuttle Atlantis in November 2009, and Ryazanskiy lived aboard the ISS from September 2013 through March 2014 as a crewmember of the orbiting lab's expeditions 37 and 38. Nespoli served on the shuttle Discovery's STS-120 mission in 2007 and was an ISS crewmember from December 2010 through May 2011, during expeditions 26 and 27. 

A Russian Soyuz rocket stands atop its launchpad at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to launch the Expedition 52 crew to the International Space Station. Liftoff is set for July 28, 2017. (Image credit: NASA/Joel Kowsky)

After getting to the orbiting lab today, the trio will serve on expeditions 52 and 53. (The ISS has been continuously staffed by a rotating series of crewmembers since November 2000. Most of these astronauts' missions last about six months.)

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Mike Wall
Senior Space Writer

Michael Wall is a Senior Space Writer with and joined the team in 2010. He primarily covers exoplanets, spaceflight and military space, but has been known to dabble in the space art beat. His book about the search for alien life, "Out There," was published on Nov. 13, 2018. Before becoming a science writer, Michael worked as a herpetologist and wildlife biologist. He has a Ph.D. in evolutionary biology from the University of Sydney, Australia, a bachelor's degree from the University of Arizona, and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California, Santa Cruz. To find out what his latest project is, you can follow Michael on Twitter.