Just in time for the holidays, the residents of the International Space Station will welcome three new crew members:
Flight Engineer Don Pettit (NASA)
Soyuz Commander Oleg Kononenko (Rosscosmos)
Flight Engineer Andre Kuipers (European Space Agency)
They are set to launch in their Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 7:16 a.m. CST on Wednesday, Dec. 21 (7:16 p.m. local time).
NASA Television will air video of prelaunch activities at 5:45 a.m. and provide live coverage of the launch beginning at 6:30 a.m
On Dec. 23, the trio will dock to the Rassvet module of the station at 9:22 a.m. The new crew will join station Commander Dan Burbank of NASA and Russian Flight Engineers Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin, who have been aboard the orbital laboratory since mid-November. NASA TV will provide live coverage beginning at 8:45 a.m. Hatch opening and the holiday welcoming ceremony will occur about three hours later.