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Forum:Soviet - Russian Space
Topic:Soyuz TMA-02M mission to the space station
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Robert Pearlman
Press conference with Soyuz TMA-02M crew

Soyuz TMA-02M crew members Sergei Volkov, Michael Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa took part in a press conference on June 6, 2011 at the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.
Soyuz TMA-02M crew ready for launch

Soyuz TMA-02M crew members Sergei Volkov, Michael Fossum and Satoshi Furukawa walk out to the spacecraft that will soon take them to the International Space Station.
Robert Pearlman
Soyuz TMA-02M launches to the space station

Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, NASA astronaut Mike Fossum and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for the International Space Station onboard the Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft at 3:12 p.m. CDT Tuesday, June 7 (2:12 a.m. Wednesday, June 8 Baikonur time).

Under Volkov's command, Soyuz TMA-02M will dock to the Rassvet module on the Earth-facing side of the station on Thursday, June 9.

After opening the hatches between the Soyuz and station, the trio will be welcomed aboard by their Expedition 28 crewmates, commander Andrey Borisenko and flight engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Ron Garan, who have been living and working on the station since April 6.

The six-person crew will extend the continuous presence of humans on the station since Nov. 2, 2000, conducting scientific research and station maintenance activities.

The station residents also will welcome the crew of the last space shuttle flight, Atlantis' STS-135 mission, targeted to launch July 8. The shuttle will deliver critical supplies in the Italian-built Raffaello multi-purpose logistics module and support spacewalks by Fossum and Garan to retrieve a failed cooling system pump module, which Atlantis will return to Earth for analysis.

Garan, Borisenko and Samokutyaev, who launched to the station April 4, will return to Earth in September. Before departing, Borisenko will hand over command of the station to Fossum for Expedition 29, which begins when Soyuz TMA-21 undocks.

Cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin and astronaut Dan Burbank will join Fossum, Volkov and Furukawa to complete the Expedition 29 crew in September.

Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi
Robert PearlmanNASA ISS On-Orbit Status (June 9, 2011)
RSC-Energia reported two anomalies on Soyuz TMA-02M:

During today's rendezvous burn on Soyuz Orbit 17 a lower than expected thrust (~60%) was seen in DPO-B thruster #14 (nominal thrust: 13.3 kgf). A subsequent test on Orbit 20 confirmed this, and specialists suspect FOD (foreign object/debris), perhaps some shaving, in the prop metering line.

Thruster #14 acts along x-axis and is also used for yaw control (y-axis). There is no other thruster like this one, but two smaller DPO-M thrusters (nominal: 2.7 kgf each) can perform this function independently of #14.

Because even at 60% capacity this thruster still provides more thrust than the two smaller ones together, specialists recommend using the degraded engine after uplinking a software patch to extend the range of its allowable burning time (nominal: 400 sec). The software patch will also account for the case of the thruster becoming completely blocked, in which case the system will switch over to the two smaller thrusters.

If #14 should clear, the time range in the s/w patch will allow a return to the nominal configuration. The docking plan will be modified to account for the decreased thrust.

RSC-Energia expressed confidence that the docking can still be kept on time, at 5:22 p.m. EDT.

The second anomaly were lower than expected CO2 (carbon dioxide) readings of the Soyuz GA (Gas Analyzer) during the first two orbits. On Orbit 3, the data became nominal.

Specialists believe that Sokol spacesuit checks prior to liftoff flooded the sensor with O2 (oxygen), suppressing CO2 (the GA in this Soyuz has no screen to protect against this case).

Plans are to leave the GA activated for three days after docking to allow specialists to monitor data. Borisenko has turned on the 26S GA and will use it with the ISSA GA to compare the readings for accuracy.

Robert Pearlman
Soyuz TMA-02M docks to the space station

Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, NASA astronaut Mike Fossum and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) Thursday, docking Soyuz TMA-02M to the Rassvet module at 4:18 p.m. CDT.

The trio began their two-day journey to the orbiting laboratory after launching from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 3:12 p.m. Tuesday (2:12 a.m. Wednesday, Kazakhstan time).

Once hatches between the Soyuz and station are opened, Fossum, Volkov and Furukawa will join the station's residents, Expedition 28 commander Andrey Borisenko and flight engineers Ron Garan and Alexander Samokutyaev, who have been living and working on the outpost since April 6.

Robert Pearlman
Soyuz TMA-02M departs the space station

Russia's Soyuz TMA-02M crewed by Expedition 29 commander Mike Fossum and flight engineers Satoshi Furukawa and Sergei Volkov undocked from the International Space Station at 5 p.m. CST (2300 GMT) Nov. 21.

The spacefarers are set to land on the frigid, snow-covered steppe of Kazakhstan in a few hours time, wrapping up their 167 days in space.

Robert Pearlman
Soyuz TMA-02M returns to Earth

Roscosmos cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, NASA astronaut Mike Fossum and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa returned to Earth on board the Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft on Monday after 167 days off the planet, all but two days aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

Touching down on its side, the Soyuz capsule landed at 8:26 p.m. CST (8:26 a.m. Tuesday local time; 32 minutes before sunrise) on the frigid, snow-covered central steppe of Kazakhstan, near the town of Arkalyk.

Recovery forces reported the crew to be in good shape.

Fossum, Furukawa and Volkov arrived at the space station on June 9 aboard the same spacecraft, TMA-02M, as they landed, joining the Expedition 28 crew as flight engineers. ISS Expedition 29 began and Fossum took command when Expedition 28 crew members Andrey Borisenko, Ron Garan and Alexander Samokutyaev left the station in September.

Their mission over, the three TMA-02M crewmates will be flown to Karaganda for a traditional Kazakh welcome home ceremony. Volkov will then go to the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, outside of Moscow, while Fossum and Furukawa will be flown to the Johnson Space Center in Houston to begin their rehabilitation.

Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Above: Expedition 29 crewmates Mike Fossum, left, Sergei Volkov, center, and Satoshi Furukawa, outside their Soyuz TMA-02M capsule just minutes after they landed in a remote area outside the town of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan.

Robert PearlmanNASA photos (Credit: Bill Ingalls)

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