December 1, 2009, S.P.Korolev RSC Energia - MCC-M,
Korolev, Moscow region

The Soyuz TMA-15 descent module (DM) returned to ground at 10:15 Moscow time. All DM reentry, search and landing operations were performed nominally.

Russian cosmonaut R. Romanenko (Soyuz TMA-15 crew commander), ESA astronaut, citizen of Belgium F. de Winne and astronaut of Canadian Space Agency R. Thirsk (both are flight engineers of Souyz TMA-15 vehicle) completed their flight to the International Space Station (ISS) under the ISS Expedition 20/21 Program.

The ISS Expedition 22 (ISS-22) crew consisting of M. Suraev (ISS-22 flight engineer) and NASA astronaut J. Williams (ISS-22 commander) keep working onboard the Station.

At Mission Control Center in Moscow (MCC-M) Soyuz TMA-15 deorbit and reentry maneuvers, search of the landed vehicle and crew evacuation were performed under control of the State Commission (Chairman, A.N. Perminov, Director of the Federal Space Agency) and Technical management of flight tests of manned space complexes (Head - V.A. Lopota, President of RSC Energia, General Designer).

Soyuz TMA-15 reentry flight was controlled by the Lead operational control team working at MCC-M in interaction with aviation and space search and rescue specialists, other Russian organizations and services, as well as the US Mission Control Center in Houston.

During the final vehicle reentry and landing operations the Mission Control Center was attended by FSA, NASA, ESA Canadian Space Agency representatives, as well as representatives of Russian and foreign enterprises and organizations participating in the implementation of the ISS program.

Following the crew evacuation from DM a press conference for Russian and foreign journalists was held. It was attended by the leaders and representatives of Roscosmos, RSC Energia, foreign space agencies, Canadian government, prime organizations of rocket and space industry of Russia.

 For reference:

  1. RSC Energia is a leading organization responsible for development and operation of the ISS Russian Segment, its modules Zvezda, Pirs, Poisk and others), as well as Soyuz TMA, Progress vehicles. The ISS Russian Segment and vehicles flight is controlled by the Lead operational control team working at MCC-M led by V.A.Soloviev, First Deputy General Designer of RSC Energia.
  2. The descent module performed a soft landing on the territory of Republic of Kazakhstan in a specified area located to the north of the town of Arkalyk. The operative timely evacuation of the crew from DM was provided by the search and rescue equipment and specialists. Due to weather conditions which prevented from using helicopters the crew and DM were evacuated from the landing site by special search and rescue vehicles.
  3. The duration of a space flight performed by R. Romanenko, F de Winne, and R. Thirsk was about 187 days.




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