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  Soyuz TMA-04M mission to the space station

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Author Topic:   Soyuz TMA-04M mission to the space station
Robert Pearlman
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posted 01-27-2012 08:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Report: Soyuz TMA-04M launch delayed

The planned March 30, 2012, launch of Russia's Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft with three new crew members for the International Space Station will be delayed to mid-April or the first half of May, the Interfax news service reported Friday citing an unnamed industry source.

"The descent vehicle's shell broke during air tightness testing. This descent capsule can no longer be used in a manned flight. The remaining time is not enough to prepare the descent capsule built for the next Soyuz," the source said.


Soyuz TMA-04M crew insignia Credit: Roscosmos/NASA

NASA astronaut Joe Acaba and Roscosmos cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin are scheduled to fly on Soyuz TMA-04M to replace Expedition 30 crewmates Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoli Ivanishin and Dan Burbank, who arrived at the station on Soyuz TMA-22 in November.

Shkaplerov, Ivanishin and Burbank were scheduled to return to Earth on March 16 but as their own launch was delayed, their Soyuz has at least several weeks of margin before exceeding its on-orbit certified use.

Robert Pearlman
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Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 01-31-2012 03:30 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Roscosmos chief confirms Soyuz launch delay

The head of Russia's federal space agency confirmed Tuesday (Jan. 31) that its next crewed launch to the International Space Station will be delayed by about 45 days due to problems discovered with the mission's Soyuz spacecraft.

"Now, the management of Energia corporation is drafting a new plan, under which the launch will be delayed for a month, till late April," said Roscosmos chief Vladimir Popovkin to the ITAR-TASS news service.

A new launch date will be targeted after a teleconference with NASA set for Thursday (Feb. 2).

According to Popovkin, the launch delay was in response to problems with the Soyuz TMA-04M descent module. The reentry capsule failed a test ensuring it was hermetically sealed.

"We're sorting it out, we'll be through later this week," Popovkin said.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 02-02-2012 05:05 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Soyuz TMA-04M launch reset for May 15

The launch of Soyuz TMA-04M with the next crew to the International Space Station (ISS) has been postponed until May 15, NASA's ISS program chief said Thursday (Feb. 2).

"During pressure testing of the [Soyuz TMA-04M] descent module on the pressurized section of the propulsion module, the vehicle was over-pressurized and as a result, it caused a leak in an area where the hydrogen peroxide system is housed for the thrusters that are used during descent and landing," Michael Suffredini, International Space Station manager, recounted. "As a result of that, our Russian colleagues have chosen to not fly this particular serial number vehicle and they've set it aside."

"A commission has been formed to figure out what the cause of the overpressure event was and how to make it sure it doesn't happen in the future. Meanwhile, they've pulled up the next vehicle in the flow."

The next vehicle, which had been slated to fly the Soyuz TMA-05M mission later this summer, is expected to be ready before May 15 but a period of dark lighting landing conditions and a desire to maintain two weeks between departing and arriving station crews drove the 45 day delay.

"We moved the [Soyuz TMA-22] landing to April 30 and the [Soyuz TMA-04M] launch to May 15," Suffredini said. "When we do that, the Progress [unmanned resupply vehicle] that was going to launch on the 25th of April is kind of close to the departure of the [TMA-22] crew so we pulled back the Progress launch up to 20th of April."

Further station launches will be impacted by the slip but Roscosmos, Russia's federal space agency, is working to minimize the delay.

"Our Russian colleagues intend to pull up the other vehicles in the flow to catch back up," Suffredini said. "There will be a bit of impact — we probably won't see the next Soyuz till the mid-July timeframe and we'll plan the return [of the prior crew] to make sure we have just a two week gap up there. And there will be about a two week impact as we go into the fall and winter [launches]."

Despite the delays, space station operations are not expected to be a problem.

"The impact relative to ISS — although there is a schedule impact — from a performance impact, there really is [none]," said Suffredini.

Robert Pearlman
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posted 05-09-2012 12:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Soyuz TMA-04M crew prepares for launch

The next residents of the International Space Station are making final preparations for a May 14 launch and NASA Television will provide live coverage of launch and docking.

This week, NASA flight engineer Joseph Acaba and his two Russian crewmates, Soyuz commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineer Sergei Revin, are completing their training, undergoing Soyuz spacecraft fit checks and taking part in traditional ceremonies. Video file documentation of the final preparations will be broadcast starting May 10.

Live NASA TV coverage of the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan begins at 9 p.m. CDT on May 14 (May 15, Baikonur time), with launch scheduled for 10:01 p.m.

The trio will arrive at the station May 16, joining Expedition 31 commander Oleg Kononenko of the Russian Federal Space Agency, flight engineer Don Pettit of NASA and flight engineer Andre Kuipers of the European Space Agency, who have been aboard since December 2011. Padalka, Acaba and Revin will transition to the Expedition 32 crew in July and return to Earth in mid-September.

NASA TV's scheduled coverage is as follows (all times Central):

    Thursday, May 10

  • 11:30 a.m. -- Video file of the Soyuz TMA-04M crew activities in Baikonur.

    Friday, May 11

  • 11 a.m. -- Video file of Soyuz TMA-04M crew activities in Baikonur.

    Sunday, May 13

  • 11 a.m. -- Video file of Soyuz TMA-04M rocket mating and rollout to the Baikonur launch pad.

    Monday, May 14

  • 11 a.m. -- Video file of the Soyuz TMA-04M final pre-launch crew news conference and Russian State Commission meeting in Baikonur.
  • 9 p.m. -- Soyuz TMA-04M launch coverage (launch scheduled at 10:01 p.m.), including video of the crew's pre-launch activities and launch replays.

    Tuesday, May 15

  • 12 a.m. -- Video file of Soyuz TMA-04M pre-launch, launch video and post-launch interviews.

    Wednesday, May 16

  • 11 p.m. -- Soyuz TMA-04M docking coverage (docking scheduled at 11:38 p.m.) followed by a post-docking news conference from Mission Control in Korolev, Russia.

    Thursday, May 17

  • 2 a.m. -- Soyuz TMA-04M hatch opening and welcoming ceremony (hatch opening scheduled at 2:20 a.m.).
  • 4 a.m. -- Video file of Soyuz TMA-04M docking, hatch opening and welcoming ceremony.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-13-2012 02:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Soyuz TMA-04M moved to the launch pad

The Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft was rolled out by train to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Sunday, May 13, 2012.

The launch of the Soyuz spacecraft with TMA-04M commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineers Sergei Revin and Joe Acaba is scheduled for 9:01 a.m. local time on Tuesday, May 15 (0301 GMT / 10:01 p.m. CDT May 15).


Credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls

Robert Pearlman
Editor

Posts: 27328
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 05-14-2012 10:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Soyuz TMA-04M launches for space station

Russia's Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft lifted off atop a Soyuz booster at 10:01 p.m. CDT Monday, May 14 (0301 GMT May 15) with three new crew members for the International Space Station (ISS).

Soyuz commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineers Sergei Revin and Joe Acaba will join the station's Expedition 31 crew when they arrive at the orbiting complex at 11:38 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, May 16 (0438 GMT May 17). They will live and work aboard the ISS for four months, transitioning to lead the Expedition 32 crew.

The trio, which launched under Padalka's call sign "Altair," chose as their talisman — or zero-g indicator — a small doll of Smokey (the) Bear, the long-time mascot of the U.S. Forest Service. The brown bear with his iconic campaign hat and blue jeans was a gifted to Acaba by a friend who works for the forest service.

This is Padalka's fourth spaceflight and Acaba's second. Revin is making his first trip to space.

Soon after arriving at the space station, the TMA-04M crew will assist with the berthing and unpacking of the first U.S. commercial resupply spacecraft to visit the complex, SpaceX's Dragon capsule, which is scheduled to launch on May 19.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
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posted 05-16-2012 11:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Soyuz TMA-04M docks with the space station

Gennady Padalka, Sergei Revin and Joe Acaba docked their Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft at the International Space Station's (ISS) Poisk mini-research module at 11:36 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, May 16 (0436 GMT May 17) while flying over the Mongolian-Kazakh border 250 miles below.

After the hatches between the Soyuz and space station were opened, Expedition 31 commander Oleg Kononenko and flight engineers Don Pettit and Andre Kuipers welcomed the three new flight engineers aboard for their four-month stay on the complex.

This marks Padalka's third visit to the station, after commanding Expeditions 9 and 19/20, and Acaba's second, after helping to deliver the complex's final set of solar arrays during the STS-119 mission in 2009. This is Revin's first spaceflight.

The TMA-04M docking coincided with Acaba's 45th birthday. He was born on May 17, 1967.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-16-2012 06:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Soyuz TMA-04M undocks from the space station

Russia's Soyuz TMA-04M, crewed by ISS Expedition 32 commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineers Joe Acaba and Sergei Revin, undocked from the Poisk module on the International Space Station at 6:09 p.m. CDT (2309 GMT) Sunday (Sept. 16).

The spacefarers are set to land on the steppe of Kazakhstan at 9:53 p.m. CDT (0253 GMT), wrapping up their 125 days in space.

Robert Pearlman
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From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 09-17-2012 06:52 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Soyuz TMA-04M returns to Earth

Three members of the International Space Station Expedition 32 crew returned safely to Earth on Sunday (Sept. 16), wrapping up a mission lasting more than four months.

Flight engineer Joe Acaba of NASA, commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineer Sergei Revin both of Roscosmos, undocked their Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft from the space station at 6:09 p.m. CDT (2309 GMT) and landed north of Arkalyk, Kazakhstan, at 9:53 p.m. (8:53 a.m., Sept. 17, Kazakhstan time; 0253 GMT). The trio arrived at the station May 17 and spent 125 days in space, 123 of which were aboard the orbiting laboratory.

After the Soyuz spacecraft separated from the space station, NASA astronaut Sunita Williams took command of Expedition 33. Williams is the second woman to command the station. She and her crewmates, Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko and Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), will work aboard the station as a three-person crew until the arrival of three new crew members in mid-October.

Acaba, Padalka and Revin orbited Earth 2,000 times and traveled 52,906,428 miles. Padalka now ranks fourth for the most days spent in space — a total of 711 days during four flights.


Credit: NASA/Carla Cioffi

See here to discuss the Soyuz TMA-04M mission to the space station.

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