May 15, 2012.
A manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-04M has been launched to the ISS!
In accordance with the mission plan of the International Space Station (ISS) and Russian commitments under this international project, a manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz TMA-04M was launched from Baikonur launch site at 07:01:23 AM Moscow Time.
The objective of the launch is to deliver to ISS a crew of three in order to bring the crew of Expedition Thirty One (ISS-31) up to six.
The crew of Soyuz TMA-04M consists of: Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka (spacecraft
commander) and Sergei Revin (spacecraft flight engineer) and US astronaut Joseph
Acaba (flight engineer-2 of the spacecraft).
The spacecraft was put into a parking low-Earth orbit with the following parameters: 51.67 ° inclination, 200.7 km minimal altitude, 246.36 km maximum altitude, 88.68 minutes orbital period.
The onboard systems of the spacecraft operate normally.
At the launch site, the spacecraft prelaunch processing and launch were performed under the direction of the State Commission (chaired by the head of Roscosmos V.A. Popovkin). The Commission was basing its decisions to proceed with each next step in processing and launching on the final report of the Technical Management headed by the President of RSC Energia, Designer General V.A. Lopota.
According to the telemetry data and reports from the crew of ISS, the space station systems operate normally. The station is ready for docking with the spacecraft.
- RSC Energia is the prime manned space flight organization in the Russian rocket and space industry, responsible for the development of the ISS Russian Segment, its integration into the Space Station and its operation, including development and operation of its principal modules (Zvezda, Pirs, Poisk, Rassvet, etc.), manufacturing, launch and operation of Soyuz TMA and Progress M spacecraft.
- Currently working onboard ISS is the crew of ISS-31 consisting of: cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko
(Roscosmos), astronauts Donald Pettit (NASA) and Andre Kuipers (ESA).
- The docking of Soyuz TMA-04M with ISS is scheduled for May 17, 2012 at 08:38 AM Moscow Time.
- The manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz TMA-04M is the fourth spacecraft in a new series built on the basis of Soyuz TMA spacecraft. The launch of the first spacecraft in this series took place on October 8, 2010. The upgrades that have been introduced belong to the measures aimed at the development of the new-generation manned transportation spacecraft. Flight certification of new instruments and equipment installed onboard the manned transportation spacecraft of the Soyuz TMA-M series will make it possible to make the proper decisions with respect to the new-generation manned transportation spacecraft.