NASA Coverage Set for Chris Cassidy, Crewmates Flight to Space Station2 min read

A trio of space travelers, including NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy, is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station on Thursday, April 9. NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live coverage of the crew’s launch and arrival at the orbiting laboratory.

At the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, Expedition 63 crew members Ivan Vagner (left) and Anatoly Ivanishin (center) of Roscosmos and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy (right) pose for pictures April 3 in front of their Soyuz spacecraft as part of their prelaunch activities. They will launch April 9 on the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft from Baikonur on April 9 for a six-and-a-half-month mission on the International Space Station.
Credits: Roscosmo

Cassidy, and Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, are set to launch aboard the Soyuz MS-16 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 4:05 a.m. EDT (1:05 p.m. Kazakhstan time). The four-orbit, six-hour journey to the space station will be the third flight for Cassidy and Ivanishin and the first for Vagner.

The new crew members will dock to the station’s Zvezda service module at 10:16 a.m. They will join Expedition 62 Commander Oleg Skripochka of Roscosmos and NASA Flight Engineers Andrew Morgan and Jessica Meir, who will complete their station mission and return to Earth April 17 on the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft, which will land in Kazakhstan. Morgan launched July 20, 2019, for an extended duration mission. Meir and Skripochka launched to the space station aboard a Soyuz spacecraft on Sept. 25, 2019.

About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open, and the six crew members will greet each other.

Cassidy, Ivanishin and Vagner will become part of the Expedition 62 crew. Cassidy will become Expedition 63 commander upon the departure of Skripochka, Morgan and Meir. A change of command ceremony is planned for Wednesday, April 15.

Coverage of launch and docking activities is as follows (all times EDT):

·      3 a.m. – Soyuz MS-16 launch coverage (launch at 4:05 a.m.)

·      9:30 a.m. – Docking coverage (docking scheduled for 10:15 a.m.)

·      Noon – Hatch opening and welcome coverage

The crew members of Expedition 63 will be onboard to welcome NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley, who are slated to arrive on NASA’s SpaceX Demo-2 flight test, currently targeted to launch no earlier than mid-to-late May.

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Sebastien Clarke
Sebastien Clarke

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