BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- The International Space Station will soon receive three new crew members.
NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson, along with Russian cosmonaut Oleg Novitskiy and Thomas Pesquet of the European Space Agency, are preparing to take off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
The Expedition 51 crew will be carried by Russia's Soyuz rocket and spacecraft to the space station, where they will be welcomed by Expedition 50 Commander Shane Kimbrough of NASA, currently on board with cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Andrey Borisenko.
The launch is scheduled for 3:20 p.m. EST, but live coverage of the takeoff and trip will begin on NASA TV at 2:30 p.m.
During their time aboard, the new crew members will help execute a variety of science experiments in the fields of planetary science, biology, genetics and more.
Kimbrough, Ryzhikov and Borisenko will make the journey home in late February. Whitson and Novitskiy and Pesquet will remain on board ISS until spring.