NASA Television will air the launch of the next residents of the International Space Station and the return of the current station crew. Coverage begins with a broadcast of prelaunch activities March 11 and continues through the landing of the current station crew on April 7.

Expedition 19 Commander Gennady Padalka, NASA Flight Engineer Michael Barratt and spaceflight participant Charles Simonyi, a U.S. citizen, are scheduled to launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft to the station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Thursday, March 26, at 6:49 a.m. CDT (5:49 p.m. Kazakhstan time). Simonyi will fly to the station under an agreement with the Russian Federal Space Agency.

After a two-day trip, the Soyuz will dock to the station on Saturday, March 28. Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency Flight Engineer Koichi Wakata is scheduled to launch Wednesday aboard space shuttle Discovery’s STS-119 mission. Wakata will remain with Padalka and Barratt until returning to Earth on shuttle Endeavour’s STS-127 mission in June. Padalka, Barratt and Wakata will serve on the station as part of Expedition 20, the station’s first six-person crew.

Expedition 18 Commander Michael Fincke, Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov and Simonyi will return to Earth Tuesday, April 7, at about 3:22 a.m. (2:22 p.m. Kazakhstan time) in the Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft now docked to the station. Fincke and Lonchakov have been aboard the orbiting laboratory since October 2008.

Upcoming NASA TV Soyuz launch and landing programming events (all times CDT):

March 11, Wednesday

11 a.m. – Expedition 18 and spaceflight participant video file of departure breakfast in Star City, Russia

March 23, Monday 2 p.m. – Video file of crew activities in Baikonur

March 24, Tuesday

11 a.m. – Soyuz TMA-14 rollout to launch pad and crew activities in Baikonur, video file

March 25, Wednesday

11 a.m. – Prelaunch news conference, Russian State Commission video file feed from Baikonur

March 26, Thursday 5 a.m. – Prelaunch activities video file feed from Baikonur

6 a.m. – Launch coverage from Baikonur and Johnson Space Center in Houston (launch scheduled at 6:49 a.m.; launch replays follow conclusion of launch coverage)

9 a.m. – Launch day activities, launch and post launch interviews video file

March 28, Saturday

7:45 a.m. – Coverage of Soyuz docking to station (docking scheduled at 8:15 a.m., post-docking news conference follows)

10:45 a.m. – Hatch opening, welcoming ceremony (hatch opening scheduled at 11:10 a.m.)

1 p.m. – Video file of the docking to the station, hatch opening and welcoming ceremony

April 1, Wednesday

TBD – Joint crew news conference for crews of Expedition 18, 19 and spaceflight participant, and interpreted replays of news conference

April 2, Thursday TBD – Change of command ceremony

April 6, Monday

8:30 p.m. – Expedition 18, 19 and spaceflight participant farewell ceremony and Soyuz TMA-13 hatch closure (scheduled at 9 p.m.)

11:45 p.m. – Coverage of Expedition 18 and spaceflight participant undocking from station (scheduled at 12:05 a.m. Tuesday)

April 7, Tuesday

2 a.m. – Deorbit burn and landing coverage (scheduled at 2:31 a.m.; landing in Kazakhstan scheduled at 3:22 a.m.)

1 p.m. – Post-landing video file feed

4 p.m. – Fincke post-landing interview and Star City welcoming ceremonies video file

For NASA TV streaming video, downlink and schedule information, visit:

For more information about the space station, visit: