June 8 (UPI) — The Soyuz MS-09 spacecraft carrying a pair of astronauts and a cosmonaut is scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station on Friday morning.
NASA TV will provide live coverage of the capsules docking outside the space station’s Rassvet module. Streaming will start at 8:15 a.m. ET, with docking expected to happen at approximately 9:07 a.m.
At roughly 11:05 a.m., the Soyuz craft’s hatch will be opened and Sergey Prokopyev of Roscosmos, as well as Serena Auñón-Chancellor of ESA and Alexander Gerst of NASA, will be welcomed onto the space station. NASA TV coverage of the hatch opening will begin at 10:30 a.m.
The trio of astronauts have been traveling through space — taking wider and wider circles around Earth — since Wednesday morning, when they successfully launched into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
“The crew will orbit Earth 34 times before the spacecraft’s arrival and docking,” NASA announced in an update earlier this week.
The majority of those orbits have now been completed, as the Soyuz craft continues to whizz closer and closer to the space station.
Once the new trio is aboard, ISS will host a six-person crew. The newcomers will join Commander Drew Feustel and Flight Engineer Ricky Arnold of NASA, as well as Flight Engineer Oleg Artemyev of Roscomos.
While they wait for the capsule to arrive, Feustel and Arnold are preparing for next week’s space walk. On June 14, the duo will spend several hours outside the space station installing high definition television cameras and wireless communications gear.
“The new cameras will improve the view of approaching commercial crew vehicles for dockings in the future,” NASA announced on Thursday. “The new wireless equipment will enable data transmission from payloads mounted on the outside of the Columbus and Kibo modules.”