THE ROAD TO RENDEZVOUS

Commander Oleg Novitsky, Thomas Pesquet and Peggy Whitson radioed in with ground control and were informed of the expected thruster burns that will take their Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft to the International Space Station after the automated rendezvous sequence is started at 19:39 GMT.

In a series of three large and three smaller burns the spacecraft will close in on the weightless research laboratory. The first burn will start at around 478 km out and each subsequent burn will move them closer. By the second burn Thomas, Oleg and Peggy will be at 203 km from the Station, then at 21:28 GMT they will be at 97 km. At 21:32 GMT they reach 2.5 km, four minutes later 1.1 km, two minutes after that they will be at 640 m from their destination.

These times and burns are estimates calculated on ground and can change. The astronauts will radio in again and will be in their Sokol pressure-suits, seated in the command module, with the hatch closed to the orbital module ready for the rendezvous and docking sequence.

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