NASA has announced it is providing live coverage of the launch and arrival of a multinational crew to the International Space Station, the administration said.
The crew includes NASA astronaut Jessica Meir and the first space traveler from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Meir, Oleg Skripochka of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, and Hazzaa Ali Almansoori from the UAE are set to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan aboard the Soyuz MS-15 spacecraft.
The four-orbit, six-hour journey will be the third spaceflight for Skripochka and the first for Meir and Almansoori. Almansoori is flying on an eight-day mission as a spaceflight participant under a contract between the UAE and Roscosmos.
The new crew members will dock to the station´s Zvezda service module at 3:45 p.m.
About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open and the new residents will be greeted by station commander Alexey Ovchinin of Roscosmos, NASA astronauts Christina Koch, Nick Hague and Andrew Morgan, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Luca Parmitano, and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov.
Their arrival will increase the orbiting laboratory´s population to nine people until Oct. 3, when Hague and Ovchinin, who are completing a mission of more than 200 days, will return to Earth with Almansoori on the Soyuz MS-12 spacecraft. Meir and Skripochka will spend more than six months on the station.