January 20, 2021
How to watch a NASA astronaut launch to the ISS on a Russian rocket tonight

How to watch a NASA astronaut launch to the ISS on a Russian rocket tonight

From left: NASA astronaut Kate Rubins and Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov of Roscosmos.


SpaceX’s Crew Dragon has been the headline grabber recently, but NASA isn’t done working with Russia when it comes to reaching the International Space Station. The next ISS crew is scheduled to launch tonight aboard a Roscosmos Soyuz spacecraft. 

NASA TV plans to deliver live coverage of the launch starting at 9:45 p.m. PT on Tuesday, Oct. 13. The scheduled launch time is 10:45 p.m. PT. This works out to a mid-morning takeoff in Kazakhstan, where the Roscosmos launches take place.

It’ll take about three hours for the Soyuz MS-17 to reach the ISS. NASA TV is set to cover the rendezvous and docking starting at 1 a.m. PT on Wednesday, Oct. 14.  

Cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov will join NASA’s Kate Rubins for the journey. The trio is scheduled for a six-month mission. They’ll be joining current ISS residents Chris Cassidy of NASA and cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner. 

SpaceX’s Crew-1, its first nondemonstration crewed ISS mission, was originally scheduled to launch to the ISS on Oct. 31 with four more astronauts, but it’s been delayed until November because of a Falcon 9 engine issue

The Crew Dragon spacecraft (along with Boeing’s Starliner) is NASA’s ticket to ending its reliance on Russian rockets to carry astronauts into orbit. But NASA and Roscosmos are still tied together for this latest mission. A rocket launch with humans on board is always exciting, no matter where in the world it takes place.

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