October 12, 2008, Baikonur launch site, branch office of S.P.Korolev RSC Energia
In accordance with the mission plan of the International
Space Station (ISS) and Russian commitments under this project,
a manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz TMA-13 was launched
from Baikonur launch site at 11:01 Moscow Time.
The objective of the launch was to deliver to ISS the Expedition
18 crew (ISS-18): cosmonaut Yu. Lonchakov (Russia)
and astronaut M. Fincke (USA), as well as a space flight
participant R. Garriotte (USA) under the program of the
Visiting Mission 15.
The spacecraft was put into a parking low-Earth orbit with
the following parameters: 51.65° inclination, 200.7 km minimal altitude, 259.89 km maximum altitude, 88.81 minutes
The onboard systems of the spacecraft operate normally.
At the launch site, the spacecraft prelaunch processing
and its launch were performed under the direction of the
State Commission (chaired by the head of Roscosmos A.N.Perminov).
The Commission was basing its decisions to proceed with
each next step in processing and launching on the opinions
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 Expedition 17, the space station systems operate
in normal mode. The station is ready for docking with the
1. Currently working onboard ISS is the ISS-17 crew consisting of: Sergei Volkov (cosmonaut tester of Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, crew commander), Oleg Kononenko (cosmonaut tester of S.P.Korolev RSC Energia, flight engineer-1) and Gregory Chamitoff (NASA astronaut, flight engineer-2).
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 October 14, 2008 at 12:38 Moscow time.
Some hours before the launch...