Three new astronauts will start a trip up to the International Space Station tomorrow morning—and it all begins with a ride on the Soyuz spacecraft. Watch it launch live right here at 2:36 am BST.
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 1:30 am, and the launch will take place at 2:36 am You can watch along with us here, and see the whole timeline that the Soyuz will follow (assuming all goes to plan) below.
1:36 am Launch vehicle control system prep; gyros active
1:40 am NASA TV: Crew pre-launch activities
1:51 am Pad service structure components lowered
1:52 am Clamshell-like gantry service towers retracted
1:59 am Suit leak checks; re-entry vehicle testing complete
2:02 am Emergency escape system armed
2:21 am Suit leak checks complete; escape system to auto
2:26 am Gyros “uncaged” and recorders activated
2:29 am Pre-launch operations complete
2:30 am Final launch countdown operations to auto
Launch complex/vehicle systems ready
9:31 am Commander’s controls active/helmets closed
Launch key inserted
2:32 am Combustion chamber nitrogen purge
2:33 am Booster propellant tank pressurization (drainback)
2:35 am Ground propellant feed terminated
2:35:41 am Vehicle to internal power
2:36:06 am Auto sequence start
First umbilical tower separates
2:36:11 am 3rd stage ground power umbilical separates
2:36:26 am Second umbilical tower separates
2:36:29 am Launch command issued
Central/side pod engines start
2:36:31 am Engine turbopumps at flight speed
2:36:36 am Engines at maximum thrust
2:36:41 am LAUNCH (1 hr, 28 min after sunrise)
2:45:26 am Orbital insertion