New Delhi: American space agency NASA announced the launch of its next International Space Station (ISS) crew last month, which was slated for September 23.
However, soon after, the space agency announced the Russian space agency, Roscosmos's decision to postpone the launch due to technical reasons.
The technical issues had cropped up during routine tests of the Soyuz MS – 02 spacecraft at the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Now, NASA has ended the wait and announced the date for the launch. The three crew members of Expedition 49/50 are scheduled to launch to the International Space Station at 4:05 am EDT Wednesday, October 19 (2:05 pm, Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. What's more, NASA will also broadcast the launch on its live TV, which will begin at 3:15 am on NASA Television and the agency’s website.
NASA astronaut Shane Kimbrough, along with Roscosmos cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko, will travel for two days in the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft to test upgraded spacecraft systems before docking to the space station’s Poisk module at 5:59 am on Friday, October 21. NASA TV coverage of the docking will begin at 5:15 am, as per NASA schedule.
The astronauts will be joining the Expedition 48 crew, that comprises of NASA astronaut Kate Rubins, Anatoly Ivanishin from Roscosmos and Takuya Onishi from the Japanese space agency and will spend 5 months in space.