Three new astronauts will start a trip up to the International Space Station tonight—and it all begins with a ride on the Soyuz spacecraft. Watch it launch live right here at 9:36 p.m. EDT.
The astronauts—NASA’s Kate Rubins, JAXA’s Takuya Onishi, and Roscomos’ Anatoly Ivanishin—will be making the trip as part of Expedition 49. They’ll be joining Expedition 48's three-person crew already aboard the ISS.
But it’s not just astronauts making the trip. There’s some new gear, including a genetic sequencer, in the cargo hold. Rubins will be using the device to conduct the first ever in-space DNA sequence, which NASA hopes will answer questions about the impact of spaceflight on the human body.
NASA will start coverage at 8:30 p.m. tonight, and the launch will take place at 9:36 p.m. You can watch along with us here, and see the whole timeline that the Soyuz will follow (assuming all goes to plan) below.
8:36 p.m. Launch vehicle control system prep; gyros active
8:40 p.m. NASA TV: Crew pre-launch activities
8:51 p.m. Pad service structure components lowered
8:52 p.m. Clamshell-like gantry service towers retracted
8:59 p.m. Suit leak checks; re-entry vehicle testing complete
9:02 p.m. Emergency escape system armed
9:21 p.m. Suit leak checks complete; escape system to auto
9:26 p.m. Gyros “uncaged” and recorders activated
9:29 p.m. Pre-launch operations complete
9:30 p.m. Final launch countdown operations to auto
Launch complex/vehicle systems ready
9:31 p.m. Commander’s controls active/helmets closed
Launch key inserted
9:32 p.m. Combustion chamber nitrogen purge
9:33 p.m. Booster propellant tank pressurization (drainback)
9:35 p.m. Ground propellant feed terminated
9:35:41 p.m. Vehicle to internal power
9:36:06 p.m. Auto sequence start
First umbilical tower separates
9:36:11 p.m. 3rd stage ground power umbilical separates
9:36:26 p.m. Second umbilical tower separates
9:36:29 p.m. Launch command issued
Central/side pod engines start
9:36:31 p.m. Engine turbopumps at flight speed
9:36:36 p.m. Engines at maximum thrust
9:36:41 p.m. LAUNCH (1 hr, 28 min after sunrise)
9:45:26 pm Orbital insertion