Soyuz TMA-12M launches today, carrying Expedition 39 to the International Space Station.
Watch the live coverage on NASA TV . Update: Hooray for another successful launch, and a great rocket-photo to go with it!
Astonaut and current International Space Station resident Rich Mastracchio spotted the launch from orbit, casually commenting:
Just saw the Soyuz launch from station. Great view. In 6 hours we will have new crew members. pic.twitter.com/QDqsZmhbkh
— Rick Mastracchio (@AstroRM) March 25, 2014
Update 2 (Tuesday PM): The third Soyuz thruster burn did not take place as scheduled. As a result, the spacecraft will not dock with the International Space Station tonight. Instead, it will make a longer two-day rendezvous. We aren't sure yet why the burn didn't take place, but initial data suggests that the rocket was not at the proper attitude or orientation.
The longer rendezvous and docking pattern was standard-practice up through 2012. The last time it was used was for Expedition 34, launched December 19th and docked December 21st, 2012. The newer same-day pattern was introduced with Expedition 35 that launched on March 28th and docked on March 29th, 2013.
The crew has plenty of food, air, water, and the rest of the essential goodies to be just fine until the delayed docking.
Update 3 (Wednesday AM): Check the comments for a NASA video explaining the postponement.
All images credit NASA