Watch the New ISS Crew Finally Dock With the Space Station Tonight After Unplanned Days in Orbit

Two days ago, we all watched three new crew members launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-12M to join Expedition 39 on the International Space Station. They were scheduled to dock later that night, but due to engine problems, Alexander Skvortsov, Steve Swanson, and Oleg Artemyev have had to wait in orbit to dock at 7:58PM ET today.

You can watch them finally get to the ISS and stretch their legs live right here with coverage starting at 7PM ET.

They should’ve reached the ISS around 11PM EDT two days ago on Tuesday, March 25, which would only have been about six hours after the launch. Unfortunately for the crew, the third burn of the Soyuz’s engine that was essential in getting them to the space station on time didn’t happen, though it’s not exactly clear why.

On the bright side, a two day trip was standard procedure until a faster method of reaching the ISS was put in place last year, so the backup plan is a familiar one for everyone involved. The Soyuz’s engine has worked just fine in getting them on track for their plan b, and the reason it didn’t cooperate for the first attempt is still unknown.

Kenny Todd, the space station’s operations integration manager, told NASA TV, “At this point, the crew is in good shape and the vehicle appears to be in good shape. At this point, everything looks real good.”

(via Universe Today, image via NASA)

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Tags: Expedition 39, International Space Station, NASA