Half of the residents of the International Space Station will take a spin around their orbital neighborhood in the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft on Friday, Aug. 28. NASA Television coverage will begin at 2:45 a.m. EDT.
Expedition 44 Commander Gennady Padalka of the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) and Flight Engineers Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of Roscosmos will move the Soyuz from the station’s Poisk module to the Zvezda docking port. The relocation maneuver will begin with undocking at 3:12 a.m. and end with redocking at 3:37 a.m.
The relocation will free up the Poisk module for the docking of a new Soyuz vehicle, designated TMA-18M, carrying three additional crew members, and scheduled to launch to the station Wednesday, Sept. 2 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Aboard will be Expedition 45 crew member Sergei Volkov of Roscosmos, and visiting crew members Andreas Mogensen of ESA (European Space Agency) and Aidyn Aimbetov of the Kazakh Space Agency.
Mogensen and Aimbetov will return to Earth with Padalka on Saturday, Sept. 12 in the Soyuz TMA-16M. In March 2016, the Soyuz TMA-18M will return with Volkov, as well as one-year mission crew members Kelly and Kornienko, who arrived on station in March to begin collecting biomedical data crucial to NASA’s human journey to Mars.