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April 8, 2008, Baikonur launch site, branch office of S.P.Korolev RSC Energia

According to the International Space Station (ISS) Flight Program and Russian Party commitments under the ISS Project, Soyuz TMA-12 manned space vehicle was launched at 15:16:39 Moscow time from Baikonur launch site.
The purpose of the launch is to deliver the Increment 17 (ISS-17) crew commander S. Volkov (test cosmonaut, Yu.A. Gagarin CTC RGNII), ISS-17 flight engineer O. Kononenko (test cosmonaut, S.P. Korolev RSC Energia) and spaceflight participant of the 14th visiting crew (VC-14), citizen of the Republic of Korea So Yeon Yi, the first Korean cosmonaut to the ISS.
The space vehicle is inserted into a near-earth reference orbit with the following parameters: inclination of 51.63°, minimum altitude of 199.5 km, maximum altitude of 246.3 km, orbital period of 88.67 min.
The space vehicle onboard systems operate normally.
The vehicle processing and launch were conducted under direction of the State Commission (chaired by A.N. Perminov, Director of Roscosmos). The Commission made decisions on implementing processing and launch stages based on conclusions of the Technical Management led by V.A. Lopota, President of S.P.Korolev RSC Energia, General Designer.
According to the telemetry information and reports of the ISS Increment 16 crew, the station onboard systems operate as designed. The station is ready for vehicle docking.

 For reference:
1. The ISS-16 crew consisting of P. Whitson (crew commander, NASA astronaut), Yu. Malenchenko (test cosmonaut, Yu.A. Gagarin CTC RGNII) and G. Reisman (flight engineer, NASA astronaut) work onboard the station.
2. S.P. Korolev RSC Energia is a leading Russian rocket and space industrial enterprise in the area of manned space flight programs, responsible for development, integration and operation of the ISS Russian Segment, including development and operation of the main Russian modules (Zvezda, Pirs and others), manufacturing, launch and operation of Soyuz TMA, Progress M vehicles.
3.  The vehicle is slated to dock to the ISS on April 10, 2008 at 17:00 Moscow time to the Docking Compartment/Module Pirs.

Some hours before the launch...

 

 

 

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