Tennessee native Barry Wilmore is launching to the International Space Station this afternoon after more than two years of preparation. The U.S. astronaut will be taking off from Kazakhstan.
Wilmore told WPLN earlier this month that he’s having a hard time deciding what he’s looking forward to the most. There’s the launch, the weightlessness in space, the potential spacewalks … and then the re-entry to earth.
“I’ve heard it described like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride,” he said. “You come back in the capsule, enter the atmosphere, landing in the desert of Kazakhstan under parachute. It’s all going to be thrilling and fascinating. I’m just grateful for the opportunity.”
This is Wilmore’s second time in space. He went up to the station via the space shuttle five years ago, but only for about 11 days. This time, he’ll be on board for six months and take command of the station in November.
The launch will be shown live today on NASA’s website at 3:25 p.m.