Jason DavisJun 17, 2016

Night owl? Early bird? Watch a Soyuz crew plunge back to Earth Saturday morning

Tomorrow morning, Tim Kopra, Tim Peake and Yuri Malenchenko are coming home from the International Space Station. But if you live in the United States or Europe, you're going to have to get up pretty early—or stay up late—to see it happen.

The three Expedition 47 crewmembers are scheduled to undock from the station at 1:52 a.m. EDT (6:52 UTC). Their Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft will begin its descent to Earth three-and-a-half hours later, touching down in Kazakhstan at 5:14 a.m.

Kopra, Peake and Malenchenko launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome back in December, and will have spent 186 days in space when they depart. Earlier today, NASA astronaut Tim Kopra formally handed command of the station over to his colleague, Jeff Williams:

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Expedition 48 begins at the moment Soyuz TMA-19M undocks. If you want to follow along on NASA TV, here is a timeline of the undocking and landing events:

Event Time (EDT) Time (UTC)
NASA TV farewell and hatch closure coverage10:15 p.m. Friday3:15 Saturday
NASA TV undocking coverage starts1:30 a.m. Saturday6:30 Saturday
Undocking1:52 a.m.6:52
NASA TV landing coverage starts4:00 a.m.9:00
Deorbit burn4:21 a.m.9:21
Landing5:15 a.m.10:15

As the crew prepares for departure, Tim Kopra has been re-sharing some of his favorite Twitter photos from his stay aboard the station. Here are a few highlights:

Expedition 47 crew departure shot
Expedition 47 crew departure shot Tim Peake (left), Yuri Malenchenko (center) and Tim Kopra (right) pose for a photo while making departure preparations in their Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft.Image: Roscosmos

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