Two space tourists are all set to launch toward the International Space Station on Wednesday, December 8. The 12-day mission organized via Virginia-based company Space Adventures will take off at 2:38 AM EST (1:08 PM IST). Also Read - Amazon's voice assistant Alexa to help astronauts on the Moon
Yusaku Maezawa, the billionaire who is into online fashion retail is said to have invested million dollars for the trip. Along with him will fly Yozo Hirano, a video producer who will be documenting the experience. Veteran cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos will be onboard as well. Also Read - Could SpaceX be nearing its end? Elon Musk doesn’t deny the possibility
The mission on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft will commence from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. As pointed out by Space, only a few space tourists have flown so far, but it is expected to increase via private missions to the space station, with suborbital flights launched by business tycoon Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic, among others. Also Read - Blue Origin's second crewed suborbital flight to take off next month
As for the two space tourists launch, the trio’s flight will start with a six-hour ride to the International Space Station, with docking at the station’s Poisk module expected at around 8:41 AM EST (7:11 PM IST), as per Space report.
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NASA Television will cover the Soyuz spacecraft launch and stream it live from 2 AM EST (12:30 PM IST). You can catch the action live on the NASA app, and NASA’s official social media channels. The experience in space will be shared on Maezawa’s YouTube channel as well.
How to watch space tourists launch live
As mentioned the week’s launch will take place on December 8 (December 7, US night time). Following a six-hour ride, the Russian Soyuz spacecraft will dock with the space station’s Poisk module around 8:41 AM ET. Two hours after docking Maezawa, Hirano, and Misurkin will make their way into the ISS, where they will join the orbiting lab’s Expedition 66 that include the members- commander Anton Shkaplerov and Pyotr Dubrov of Roscosmos; NASA astronauts Mark Vande Hei, Raja Chari, Tom Marshburn, and Kayla Barron; and European Space Agency astronaut Matthias Maurer.
NASA will carry coverage of the launch and docking and you can watch Hirano’s mission on NASA’s website. We have embedded the link below for easy access.
Notably, coverage will commence 38 minutes before the launch at 2 AM ET. Docking coverage will begin 41 minutes prior to the spacecraft arriving at the orbiting outpost. As Space outlet cites, an international team of researchers will collect a variety of data about Hirano before, during, and after the upcoming ISS mission. It is organized by Virginia company Space Adventures. Scientists will release ‘anonymized data’ along with the health information to the institute’s database. TRISH says that this research will help “to reduce health and performance risks that space explorers face.”