Next Soyuz Space Station crew prepares for launch
The next residents of the International Space Station are making final preparations for a May 14 launch.
This week, NASA Flight Engineer Joseph Acaba and his two Russian crewmates, Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineer Sergei Revin, are completing their training, undergoing Soyuz spacecraft fit checks and taking part in traditional ceremonies. Video file documentation of the final preparations will be broadcast starting May 10.
Live NASA TV coverage of the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan begins at 9 p.m. CDT on May 14 (May 15, Baikonur time), with launch scheduled for 10:01 p.m.
The trio will arrive at the station May 16, joining Expedition 31 Commander Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency, Flight Engineer Don Pettit of NASA and Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency, who have been aboard since December 2011. Padalka, Acaba and Revin will transition to the Expedition 32 crew in July and return to Earth in mid-September.