The three members of Expedition 33 pose wearing their spacesuits in front of the Soyuz capsule that will transport them to the International Space Station. L to R: American astronaut Kevin Ford (of NASA), Soyuz Commander Oleg Novitskiy, Flight Engineer Evgeny Tarelkin. Image released Oct. 10, 2012.
CREDIT: S.P. Korolev RSC "Energia"
A Soyuz rocket is counting down to launch a new U.S.-Russian crew to the International Space Station on Tuesday (Oct. 23), a mission that will double the orbiting laboratory's population.
The Soyuz rocket will launch a three-man Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft on a two-day trip to the space station from the Central Asian spaceport of Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Liftoff is set for 6:51 a.m. EDT (1051 GMT).
American astronaut Kevin Ford and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitsky and Evgeny Tarelkin will ride the Soyuz space capsule into orbit during the launch. The trio will arrive at the space station on Thursday (Oct. 25) and join three other astronauts currently aboard the orbiting lab.
veteran NASA space shuttle pilot, said in a prelaunch press conference. "The Soyuz is an amazing spacecraft."
Ford, Novitsky and Tarelkin are launching on a five-month mission as part of the space station's Expedition 33 and 34 crews. It is Ford's second spaceflight and the first trip to space for Novitsky and Tarelkin. Novitsky will command the Soyuz trip to the space station.
"It's going to be a wonderful experience to see them in orbit for the first time," Ford said.
You can watch the launch live on SPACE.com here via a NASA TV feed. The NASA broadcast will begin at 5:30 a.m. EDT (0930 GMT).