April 10, 2008, MCC-M – S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, Korolev
The Russian Soyuz TMA-12 manned space vehicle docked to the International Space Station (ISS).
Following a two-day free flight in near-earth orbit, the vehicle approached the ISS. Berthing was executed automatically.
At 16:57 Moscow time the vehicle docking assembly came into contact with the docking port of the docking module/compartment Pirs. At that time the ISS was within the Russian ground site coverage.
The final flight operations during the vehicle rendezvous and docking to the station were performed in Moscow Mission Control Center (MCC-M) under control of the State Commission and Technical Management for flight testing of manned space systems. The State Commission is chaired by A.N.Perminov, Director of Federal Space Agency. The technical management for flight testing of manned space systems is led by V.A.Lopota, President, General Designer of RSC Energia.
Upon completion of Soyuz TMA-12 compartments leak test, docking assembly leak check and pressure equalization between the Station and vehicle, the transfer hatches were open. The vehicle crew accomplished an ingress of the Russian Segment of the Station.
The joint International crew is working onboard the Station. It consists of three Russian cosmonauts, two US astronauts and a spaceflight participant, citizen of the Republic of Korea, the first Korean cosmonaut to the ISS, So-Yeon Yi.
The Russian part of the joint crew is represented by O.Kononenko, test cosmonaut of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia (ISS-17 flight engineer 1, Soyuz TMA-12 flight engineer) two test cosmonauts of Yu.A. Gagarin CTC RGNII S. Volkov, (ISS-17 crew commander, Soyuz-TMA-12 commander) and Yu. Malenchenko (Soyuz TMA-11 commander, ISS-16 flight engineer 1). The US part of the joint crew consists of NASA astronauts P. Whitson (ISS-16 crew commander, Soyuz TMA-11 flight engineer) and G. Reisman (ISS-16/17 flight engineer 2).
The ISS, and Souyz TMA-11, Soyuz TMA-12 onboard systems operate as designed.
Upon completion of the docking mode a news conference for journalists of the Russian and foreign information agencies and TV companies took place. The questions of journalists about the future ISS program activities, Soyuz TMA-12 docking specifics, and ISS joint crew program activities were answered by V.A. Davydov, Deputy Director of Roscosmos, V.A. Lopota, President, General Designer of RSC Energia, A.B. Krasnov, Head of Piloted Programs Department of Roscosmos, Hong-yul Paik, President of the Korean Aerospace Research Institute, C. Feichtinger, Head of Permanent Mission of the European Space Agency in the Russian Federation, Ph. Cleary, NASA’s Director of Human Space Flight Program in Russia, V.A. Soloviev, First Deputy General Designer of RSC Energia, V.V. Tsibliev, General Director of Yu.A. Gagarin CTC RGNII. The news conference was hosted by A.A. Vorobiev, Press Secretary of the Director of Roscosmos.
RSC Energia is a prime organization in development and operation of the Russian Segment of the ISS, and its modules (Zvezda, Pirs and others), as well as Soyuz TMA and Progress M/M1 vehicles. The ISS Russian Segment flight is commanded by the lead operational control team (LOCT) from MCC-M. LOCT is headed by the Flight Director V.A. Soloviev, First Deputy General Designer of RSC Energia, Pilot-Cosmonaut. At present the Russian Segment of the ISS operates in the following configuration: Functional Cargo Block Zarya, Service Module Zvezda, Docking Module/Compartment Pirs, manned space vehicles Soyuz TMA-11 and Soyuz TMA-12.