Three astronauts will launch aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket this afternoon headed for the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Kjell Lindgren, JAXA astronaut Kimiya Yui, and Russian Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko will stay on the ISS for the next five months as part of the second portion of Expedition 44.
The Soyuz is scheduled to take off this afternoon at 5:02PM ET from Kazakhstan. Watch the launch on the live stream above, with NASA's coverage starting at 4PM ET.
Astronauts Kjell Lindgren, Kimiya Yui, and Oleg Kononenko are launching to the International Space Station, as part of the second portion of Expedition 44.
Expedition 44 Crew
Launch Date: 7/22/2015
Launch Location: Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan
Destination: International Space Station
Today's launch, dubbed Soyuz TMA-17M, was originally scheduled for May 26th, but the mission was postponed after a Russian Progress resupply spacecraft malfunctioned on its way to the ISS in April. Russia's space agency, Roscosmos, temporarily grounded all flights of the Progress and the Soyuz after the incident so they could determine the source of the failure. The delays pushed back a couple Soyuz launches and scheduled trips home for returning astronauts.
The crew will join the three astronauts already on board the station, including Scott Kelly and Mikhail Kornienko who are in the midst of spending a full year in space. Their stays are part of NASA's One-Year Mission study, which will help researchers better understand the effects of long-term space flight on the human body.
Verge Video: Space exploration is back