Coverage Set For Next Soyuz Crew Launch And Docking

HOUSTON — Fresh off the arrival of three new crew members at the International Space Station, the next trio of residents is set to launch to the outpost Dec. 21. NASA Television will cover prelaunch activities, launch and docking to the orbital laboratory during the next several weeks.

Expedition 30 NASA astronaut Don Pettit, Russian Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers are scheduled to launch at 7:16 a.m. CST on Dec. 21 (7:16 p.m. local time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft to begin a two-day trip to the station. They are set to dock to the station’s Rassvet module at approximately 9:20 a.m. on Dec. 23.

Pettit, Kononenko and Kuipers will join Expedition 30 Commander Dan Burbank of NASA and Russian Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, who have been on the station since Nov. 16. Pettit, Kononenko and Kuipers will remain on the station until May as members of the Expedition 31 crew.

NASA TV’s scheduled coverage includes (all times Central):

Thursday, Dec. 1
2 p.m. — Video file of Soyuz TMA-03M crew news conference in Star City, Russia, and visit to Red Square in Moscow
Thursday, Dec. 8
11 a.m. — Video file from Star City of crew departure for Baikonur
Friday, Dec. 16
11 a.m. — Video file of crew activities in Baikonur
Monday, Dec. 19
11 a.m. — Video file of rocket rollout to the launch pad in Baikonur
Tuesday, Dec. 20
11 a.m. — Video file of final prelaunch crew news conference and Russian State Commission meeting in Baikonur
Wednesday, Dec. 21
5:45 a.m. — Video file feed of the crew prelaunch activities in Baikonur
6:30 a.m. — Launch coverage begins (launch scheduled at 7:16 a.m.)
9:30 a.m. — Video file of prelaunch, launch and post-launch interviews
Friday, Dec. 23
8:45 a.m. — Docking coverage begins (docking scheduled at 9:20 a.m.), followed by the post-docking news conference from Mission Control in Korolev, Russia
11:45 a.m. — Hatch opening and welcoming ceremony begins (hatch opening scheduled at 12:20 p.m.)
2 p.m. — Video file docking, hatch opening and welcoming ceremony

Expedition 30 crew members take a break from training at NASA’s Johnson Space Center to pose for a crew portrait. Pictured on the front row are NASA astronaut Dan Burbank, commander; and Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko, flight engineer. Pictured from the left (back row) are Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin; along with European Space Agency astronaut Andre Kuipers and NASA astronaut Don Pettit, all flight engineers. Photo credit: NASA and International Space Station partners.

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