ESA astronaut Thomas Pesquet, NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and Roscosmos commander Oleg Novitsky blasted into space on Thursday from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 20:20 GMT. Their Soyuz MS-03 spacecraft is now safely heading towards the International Space Station for docking on Saturday.
Docking coverage will be from 21:30–22:10 GMT 19 November and the opening of the hatch and welcome ceremony is from 23:45–01:10 GMT.
This page will be updated with video streams to watch all elements of the launch and docking live. Here is the schedule of events:
- Launch: 20:20:13 GMT 17 November
- Soyuz separation: 20:28:58 GMT 17 November
- Docking: 22:02:36 GMT 19 November
- Hatch opening: 00:15 GMT 20 November
To watch the launch and docking with French audio go to France's space agency CNES' website.
Thomas, Peggy and Oleg will spend six months in space working and living on the International Space Station.
Journalists and representatives of social media are invited to watch the launch in France at La Géode, Paris, and La Cité de l’Espace, Toulouse. Both events are organised in conjunction with France’s CNES space agency.
Science is an important part of the mission. Thomas will conduct a wide range of experiments on the Station, an out-of-this world research outpost that serves as a stepping stone for human exploration.
His Proxima mission is the ninth long-duration mission for an ESA astronaut. It is named after the closest star to the Sun, continuing a tradition of naming missions with French astronauts after stars and constellations.
During Proxima, Thomas will perform around 50 scientific experiments for ESA and CNES as well as take part in many research activities for the other Station partners.
Education and inspiring youngsters is another important part of his mission. Thomas is determined to make Proxima an exciting adventure for all his followers and work as an ambassador for science- and space-based careers.
School activities running alongside Thomas’s mission include elements of science or technology, from computer coding, growing crystals and maths demonstrations to fitness and nutrition.
Read more about his mission at www.esa.int/proxima