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How to watch the next crewed launch to the International Space Station – CNET

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Russian cosmonaut Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos, left, Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy of Roscosmos, center, and NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei.

NASA

After two rounds of spacecraft shuffling on the International Space Station, the path is now clear for the next few batches of crew members to make the trip to the orbital science lab, starting with a trio blasting off from Kazakhstan early Friday.

NASA astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian cosmonauts Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrovare are scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 12:42 a.m. PT and dock with the ISS a little over three hours later. They’ll join the seven crew members already living there.

Last month, three of the crew members on the ISS boarded the Soyuz capsule currently parked at the station and took a short trip to relocate it from an Earth-facing port to a space-facing port. It’s the cosmic equivalent of pulling the car around back to make room for people to park in front.

The Soyuz capsule carrying Vande Hei, Novitskiy and Dubrovare Friday will take up that Earth-facing port that was vacated last month.

A SpaceX Crew Dragon made a similar maneuver for the first time on April 5 in order to make room for another Crew Dragon that will be carrying four more astronauts to the ISS on April 22.

Before that flight, dubbed Crew-2, NASA Flight Engineer Kate Rubins and cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov will return to Earth on April 16.

It’s clearly rush hour in orbit this month. You can watch Friday’s launch on NASA TV and via the feed below. Coverage begins at 11:45 p.m. PT Thursday night.

Follow CNET’s 2021 Space Calendar to stay up to date with all the latest space news this year. You can even add it to your own Google Calendar.  

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