22 April: watch Mission Alpha launch live

French European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Thomas Pesquet is returning to the International Space Station on his second spaceflight. The mission, which is called Alpha, will see the first European to launch on a US spacecraft in over a decade.

Thomas is flying on the Crew Dragon, alongside NASA astronauts Megan McArthur and Shane Kimbrough, and Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide.

The launch on 22nd April is scheduled for 11:11 BST (12:11 CEST), and In collaboration with France’s space agency CNES, it will be live streamed with commentary in French and English.

Tune in from 09:55 BST (10:55 CEST) on April 22nd via ESA Web TV.

Launching from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida, USA, Thomas will be the first ESA astronaut to fly on a vehicle other than the US Space Shuttle or Russian Soyuz.

The flight to orbit will take less than ten minutes, with just under 24 hours spent catching up with the International Space Station, for a docking with the Harmony module planned for 10:30 BST (11:30 CEST) on 23rd April 2021.

Docking coverage will be available on ESA Web TV from 09:55 BST–14:05 BST (10:55-15:05 CEST).

Story and image: ESA.

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