Four years after its first flight to the International Space Station, NASA astronaut Kate Rubins Will return to space today (October 14).
Today at 1:45 a.m. EDT (0545 GMT), Expedition 64 astronaut Rubins will fly from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to Russia’s Soyuz MS-17 spacecraft, which unveiled the universe, and with cosmonauts Sergei Kud-Sverkov. Soon after arriving at his station, Rubins will welcome the SpaceX crew aboard the ship and celebrate the history of the space station.
You can Watch Rubins and his crumates live launch here And on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. Coverage will begin at 12:45 a.m. EDT (0445 GMT).
Related: NASA astronaut Kate Rubins will vote from space
“I’m starting to get excited,” Rubins told Space.com before the next flight. “We’ve just finished our final exams before the spaceflight, and it’s a little hard to think of anything but exams when you’re ready for them.”
But, she added, “Now that we’re going through it, I’m really looking forward to launching and getting back into space.”
The launch of Rubins could mark the last time a NASA astronaut will fly into space with a Russian Soyuz rocket, as commercial opening capacity crewed from the United States is rapidly increasing. This past May, for example, SpaceX launched its Crew Demo-2 mission, which sent two NASA astronauts to the space station on the company’s Crew Dragon vehicle. SpaceX’s first fully operational crew mission, Crew-1, Four astronauts will launch this fall, And Rubins will be on the space station in the morning to welcome those space flyers.
“I think I think it’s incredibly exciting,” Rubins said. “I’m really looking forward to welcoming the commercial crew vehicle to the station, not because it represents such a milestone in the commercial crew, but because I have some good friends in that vehicle. So I can’t wait to see them. Around the hatch. Come on. ”
He added, “I think we will always have this incredible partnership; we have international partners around the world.” “The [NASA] The commercial crew program only allows us more presence on the space station, but that doesn’t mean the partnership ends. So we will continue to work with our partners around the world. It is a power of the space station. “
In addition to being probably the last NASA astronaut to ride the Soyuz into space, Rubins will also be a part of the space station’s history, as during its stay, the orbital lab will celebrate its 20th consecutive anniversary. Rubins Will also vote from space, Like NASA astronauts launching with Crew-1. (Crew-1 will take off sooner than “mid-November”, according to NASA officials.)
Science in space
During this next mission, Rubins, a microbiologist who was the first to sequence DNA in space, will work on several experiments. He will participate with a vascular examination and part Cold Atom Lab, A tool that researchers use to study how atoms behave and more.
“I’m really looking forward to some experiments with living cells,” Rubins said. “We did some studies last time where we were culturing heart cells. Some of the things we’re looking at right now are, you can look at tissue architecture, the materials that make up organs in space? Can we culture things like that? Looks more like human organs? Can we build fragile tissue structures in space? “
“I’m also very interested in the space station’s microbiome.” “They’re working on mapping the entire microbiome of the space station, which has been separated from Earth for 20 years. I think whatever the outcome is, it’s going to be incredibly exciting,” he said.
Rubins and his cosmonaut cremates are expected to dock with the space station at 4:52 a.m. EDT (0852 GMT) and the hatch between the space station and the capsule will open at 6:45 a.m. EDT (1045 GMT).
Email Chelsea Gohd at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @speed.com and Facebook.