When Astronaut Nick Hague and cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin were last strapped into a Russian-made Soyuz spacecraft in late 2018, things didn’t exactly go as planned. A last-second abort sent the pair careening back towards Earth, which is obviously not where they intended to end up. Today, they’ll get a second chance.
Both Hague and Ovchinin will once again be perched atop a Russian rocket as it speeds into space, and this time they’ll be joined by Hague’s colleague, fellow NASA astronaut Christina Koch. The trio will blast off to the International Space Station today at 3:14 p.m. EST, and you can watch the launch live right there.
The launch will be covered live by NASA who will be streaming the entire event on its YouTube channel. As always, the streaming window below will switch over to live coverage of the launch shortly before the launch window opens, with NASA providing commentary and details about the mission.
Sending humans into space is always an exciting event, but this particular launch obviously carries some added significance. Last year’s Soyuz failure that resulted in a dramatic return to Earth for both Hague and Ovchinin got a lot of attention the world over, and for the pair to get a second chance to head to the International Space Station makes this launch pretty special.
The rocket failure from late 2018 was studied in detail by Russian space group Roscosmos and video released shortly after the failed attempt provided plenty of evidence, as you can see in the GIF above. During separation of rocket stages, a component fell towards the rocket rather than away, and the damage it caused on impact prompted the automated safety features in the Soyuz to kick in, sending the crew capsule away from the damaged ship and back down to Earth.
Everyone is expecting things to go much more smoothly this time around, and Russia seems confident that it has ironed out any kinks that could lead to a similar failure. Nevertheless, you can bet this launch will draw even more eyes than usual, so kick back and enjoy it!