NASA TV Coverage Set for Crewed Soyuz Mission to Space Station
NASA will provide live coverage of key events in the mission of a veteran Russian cosmonaut and two Japanese private citizens set to launch to the International Space Station on Wednesday, Dec. 8, and return to Earth on Sunday, Dec. 19.
Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will join spaceflight participants Yusaku Maezawa and Yozo Hirano on the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 2:38 a.m. EST Wednesday, Dec. 8 (12:38 p.m. Baikonur time). Launch, docking, and return activities will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website.
After a four-orbit, six-hour journey, the Soyuz will dock to the station’s Poisk module at 8:41 a.m. About two hours after docking, hatches between the Soyuz and the station will open and the crew members will greet each other.
Once on station, the trio will join Expedition 66 Commander Anton Shkaplerov and cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos, as well as NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Matthias Maurer, for approximately 12 days on the orbital laboratory.
On Sunday, Dec. 19, Misurkin, Maezawa, and Hirano will complete their mission, undocking the Soyuz from the Poisk module before heading for a parachute-assisted landing on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 10:18 p.m. EST (9:18 a.m. Monday, Dec. 20, Kazakhstan time).
Mission coverage is as follows (all times Eastern):
Wednesday, Dec. 8
2 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for 2:38 a.m. launch.
8 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for 8:41 a.m. docking.
10:15 a.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for hatch opening and welcome remarks.
Sunday, Dec. 19
3 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for hatch closing at 3:32 p.m.
6:30 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for undocking at 6:54 p.m.
9 p.m. – NASA TV coverage begins for deorbit and landing. Landing is targeted for 10:18 p.m.
This will be Misurkin’s third flight into space and the first flight for Maezawa and Mirano, who are making their trek into space under a contract between Space Adventures and Roscosmos.
Russian troops to provide for Soyuz safe launch with TASS reporter, Japanese tourists
Russia’s Central Military District has relocated special teams to Kazakhstan to provide for the safe launch of a Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft with cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin as TASS’ first-ever special reporter in space, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his business assistant Yozo Hirano, the District’s press office reported on Monday.
"The servicemen, special equipment of the search/rescue and parachute service and the crews of the army aviation of the Central Military District have re-deployed to Kazakhstan to provide for the safe launch of the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft with the Japanese tourists on its board," the press office said in a statement.
In particular, over 150 military rescuers and medics and also the crews of Mi-8 helicopters, An-26 and An-12 planes and over 20 motor vehicles, including upgraded search and rescue PEM-1 and PEM-2 ‘Blue Bird’ search and evacuation vehicles have redeployed to Kazakhstan from the Chelyabinsk Region in the Urals, the press office specified.
During the flight of the carrier rocket with the manned spacecraft, the Central Military District’s rescue personnel will be on watch at the Uprun, Gorno-Altaisk, Kyzyl and Yekaterinburg airfields on Russian territory and at the Karaganda, Baikonur, Jezkazgan and Arkalyk aerodromes in Kazakhstan, the statement says.
The launch of the Soyuz MS-20 manned spacecraft with two space tourists to the International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled for December 8, 2021. The space travelers will spend 12 days in orbit. Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin will be the commander of the Soyuz MS-20 spacecraft.
On November 17, Russia’s world-renowned TASS news agency and the State Space Corporation Roscosmos signed a memorandum of cooperation, which stipulates establishing a TASS news office aboard the ISS. Under the agreement, Roscosmos cosmonaut, Hero of Russia Alexander Misurkin will be the first TASS correspondent in space. He will report on the space station’s daily routine. His reports will be available to the agency’s readership from TASS news resources and his photo and video contributions will be uploaded to the agency’s website and official pages on social media.
Launch of Soyuz MS-20 with Two Space Tourists & Cosmonaut