NASA Television will air the launch of the next residents of the International Space Station and the return of the current station crew. Coverage begins with a broadcast of prelaunch activities March 11 and continues through the landing of the current station crew on April 7.
Expedition 19 Commander Gennady Padalka, NASA Flight Engineer Michael Barratt and spaceflight participant Charles Simonyi, a U.S. citizen, are scheduled to launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft to the station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, March 26, at 6:49 a.m. CDT (5:49 p.m. Kazakhstan time). Simonyi will fly to the station under an agreement with the Russian Federal Space Agency.
After a two-day trip, the Soyuz will dock to the station on Saturday, March 28. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata is scheduled to launch Wednesday aboard space shuttle Discovery's STS-119 mission. Wakata will remain with Padalka and Barratt until returning to Earth on shuttle Endeavour's STS-127 mission in June. Padalka, Barratt and Wakata will serve on the station as part of Expedition 20, the station's first six-person crew.
Expedition 18 Commander Michael Fincke, Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov and Simonyi will return to Earth Tuesday, April 7, at about 3:22 a.m. (2:22 p.m. Kazakhstan time) in the Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft now docked to the station. Fincke and Lonchakov have been aboard the orbiting laboratory since October 2008.
Upcoming NASA TV Soyuz launch and landing programming events (all times CDT):
March 11, Wednesday
11 a.m. - Expedition 18 and spaceflight participant video file of departure breakfast in Star City, Russia
March 26, Thursday
5 a.m. - Prelaunch activities video file feed from Baikonur
6 a.m. - Launch coverage from Baikonur and Johnson Space Center in Houston (launch scheduled at 6:49 a.m.; launch replays follow conclusion of launch coverage)
9 a.m. - Launch day activities, launch and post launch interviews video file
March 28, Saturday
7:45 a.m. - Coverage of Soyuz docking to station (docking scheduled at 8:15 a.m., post-docking news conference follows)
10:45 a.m. - Hatch opening, welcoming ceremony (hatch opening scheduled at 11:10 a.m.)
1 p.m. - Video file of the docking to the station, hatch opening and welcoming ceremony
April 6, Monday
8:30 p.m. - Expedition 18, 19 and spaceflight participant farewell ceremony and Soyuz TMA-13 hatch closure (scheduled at 9 p.m.)
11:45 p.m. - Coverage of Expedition 18 and spaceflight participant undocking from station (scheduled at 12:05 a.m. Tuesday)
April 7, Tuesday
2 a.m. - Deorbit burn and landing coverage (scheduled at 2:31 a.m.; landing in Kazakhstan scheduled at 3:22 a.m.)
1 p.m. - Post-landing video file feed
4 p.m. - Fincke post-landing interview and Star City welcoming ceremonies video file
ZUI also this press release:
Internet visitors can now see the Earth as never before -- live from the International Space Station via streaming video, seven days a week.
The streaming video views of Earth and the exterior structure of the station are from cameras mounted outside the laboratory complex, orbiting Earth at 17,500 miles an hour at an altitude of 220 miles. The video is transmitted to the ground -- and Web viewers -- primarily while the astronauts aboard the complex are asleep, usually from about 1 p.m. to 1 a.m. CST. When live feeds are not available, a map showing the current location and path of the station will be streamed from NASA's Mission Control in Houston.
The streaming video will include audio of communications between Mission Control and the astronauts, when available. When the space shuttle is docked to the station, the stream will include video and audio of those activities.
To view the streaming station video and for more information about the station and its crew, visit:
Col Padalka. Dr Barratt. Dr Simonyi. Dr Wakata. Col Fincke. Col Lonchakov.