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 Space.com 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.
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.
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.)