There’s nothing like seeing a launch in person, but if you can’t, NASA has the next best thing. NASA Television will cover the return of three International Space Station crew members and the launch of three new station residents in the coming weeks.
For the first time, a Soyuz undocking is expected to take place while a space shuttle is docked. Endeavour is set to launch May 16 on the STS-134 mission to deliver the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and continue station outfitting. All Soyuz activities during STS-134 will be incorporated into mission coverage.
Expedition 27 Commander Dmitry Kondratyev, NASA Flight Engineer Cady Coleman and European Space Agency Flight Engineer Paolo Nespoli are scheduled to land in their Soyuz TMA-20 spacecraft in southern Kazakhstan at 9:26 p.m. CDT, May 23 (8:26 a.m. local time May 24).
Two weeks after the Expedition 27 crew lands, Soyuz Commander Sergei Volkov, NASA Flight Engineer Mike Fossum and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Satoshi Furakawa will launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Their Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft is scheduled to lift off at 3:15 p.m., June 7 (2:15 a.m. local time June 8).
They will join Expedition 28 Commander Andrey Borisenko, NASA astronaut Ron Garan and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev, who have been aboard the station since April.
NASA Television’s scheduled coverage includes (all times Central):
Monday, May 16
• 2 p.m. – Video File of the Soyuz TMA-02M crew news conference at Star City, Russia, and visit to Red Square in Moscow
Monday, May 23
• 2: 30 p.m. – Soyuz TMA-20 crew farewells and hatch closure (3 p.m.) coverage
• 5:45 p.m. – Undocking (6:06 p.m.) coverage
• 8:15 p.m. – Deorbit burn (8:35 p.m.) and landing (9:26 p.m.) coverage
Tuesday, May 24
• 5 a.m. – Video File of landing and post-landing activities
• 11 a.m. – Video File of the landing and post-landing activities, including post-landing interview and return to Chkalovsky Airfield, Star City, Russia
Wednesday, May 25
• 11 a.m. – Video File of the Soyuz TMA-02M crew departure for Baikonur ceremony at Star City, Russia
Friday, June 3
• 11 a.m. – Video File of the crew activities in Baikonur
Sunday, June 5
• 11 a.m. – Video File of the rocket mating and rollout to the launch pad in Baikonur
Monday, June 6
• 2 p.m. – Video File of the final pre-launch crew news conference and Russian State Commission meeting in Baikonur
Tuesday, June 7
• 1:45 p.m. – Video File of the crew pre-launch activities in Baikonur
• 2:30 p.m. – Launch (3:15 p.m.) coverage
• 6 p.m. – Video File of pre-launch, launch and post-launch interviews
Thursday, June 9
• 3:30 p.m. – Docking (4:15 p.m.) coverage, including post-docking news conference from Mission Control in Korolev, Russia
• 6:45 p.m. – Hatch opening (7:15 p.m.) and welcoming ceremony coverage
• 9 p.m. – Video File of docking, hatch opening and welcoming ceremony
For NASA TV downlink information, schedules and links to streaming video, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv