Science and Technology News

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Next Soyuz Space Station Crew Prepares For Launch

Joshua Buck
Headquarters, Washington     
Kelly Humphries
Johnson Space Center, Houston

HOUSTON -- The next residents of the International Space Station are making final preparations for a May 14 launch and NASA Television will provide live coverage of launch and docking.

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.

NASA TV's scheduled coverage is as follows (all times Central):

Thursday, May 10
11:30 a.m. -- Video file of the Soyuz TMA-04M crew activities in Baikonur.

Friday, May 11
11 a.m. -- Video file of Soyuz TMA-04M crew activities in Baikonur.

Sunday, May 13
11 a.m. -- Video file of Soyuz TMA-04M rocket mating and rollout to the Baikonur launch pad.

Monday, May 14
11 a.m. -- Video file of the Soyuz TMA-04M final pre-launch crew news conference and Russian State Commission meeting in Baikonur.
9 p.m. -- Soyuz TMA-04M launch coverage (launch scheduled at 10:01 p.m.), including video of the crew's pre-launch activities and launch replays.

Tuesday, May 15
12 a.m. -- Video file of Soyuz TMA-04M pre-launch, launch video and post-launch interviews.

Wednesday, May 16
11 p.m. -- Soyuz TMA-04M docking coverage (docking scheduled at 11:38 p.m.) followed by a post-docking news conference from Mission Control in Korolev, Russia.

Thursday, May 17
2 a.m. -- Soyuz TMA-04M hatch opening and welcoming ceremony (hatch opening scheduled at 2:20 a.m.).
4 a.m. -- Video file of Soyuz TMA-04M docking, hatch opening and welcoming ceremony.

For NASA TV downlink, schedule updates and streaming video information, visit

For more information about the International Space Station and its crew, visit

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