Crewmembers of the International Space Station will take a brief spin in a Soyuz spacecraft today (March 19), relocating it to make room for the arrival of another Soyuz next month. And you can watch the whole thing live!
NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and two Russian cosmonauts, Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov, will undock the Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft today at 12:38 p.m EDT (1638 GMT), according to a statement from NASA. Live coverage will start at 12:15 p.m. EDT (1615 GMT), and you can watch it live here at Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV, or directly via the space agency.
The trio will climb inside the Soyuz, undock it from the Earth-facing port of the station’s Rassvet module, which is primarily used for cargo storage and payload operations, and then fly it over to the space-facing Poisk port, where the crew will redock the vehicle at 1:07 p.m EDT (1707 GMT). The entire spaceflight will take approximately 30 minutes.
Related: The International Space Station
This Soyuz maneuver is the first relocation flight since August 2019, and the 15th Soyuz redocking effort overall. The newly freed up Rassvet port will accommodate another Soyuz, which is due to launch toward the orbiting lab on April 9.
That incoming spacecraft will be carrying NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei, who may remain on the space station for up to a year, and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Pyotr Dubrov.
Rubins, Ryzhikov and Kud-Sverchkov will return to Earth shortly after the newcomers arrive, departing the orbiting lab on April 17. They will travel in their trusty Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft, which originally launched them to the space station in October 2020.
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