Three space travelers will depart from the International Space Station (ISS) tonight after a six-month stay aboard the orbiting laboratory.
Cramped inside a small Soyuz space capsule, NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, European Space Agency astronaut Paolo Nespoli and Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryazanskiy will undock from the ISS early tomorrow morning (Dec. 14) at 12:14 a.m. EST (0514 GMT). You can watch their journey home live here on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV.
NASA TV will begin airing live coverage at 8:30 p.m. today (Dec. 13) as the members of the spacefaring trio bid farewell to the three remaining crewmembers, settle into the Soyuz capsule and close the hatch. After the crew undocks from the space station's Rassvet module, the travelers will spend about 3.5 hours heading back to Earth. [Space Station Photos: Expedition 53 Mission Crew in Orbit]
The Soyuz spacecraft is scheduled to begin its deorbit burn at 2:44 a.m. EST (0744 GMT), about 2.5 hours after detaching from the space station. It will touch down in a remote area near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan, at 3:38 a.m. EST (0838 GMT).
Bresnik, Nespoli and Ryazanskiy launched to the ISS on July 28 in the same Soyuz MS-05 spacecraft that will bring them back to Earth tonight.