October 10, 2007. S.P. Korolev RSC Energia,
Korolev, Moscow region
The Soyuz-FG integrated launch vehicle with the Soyuz TMA-11 transport manned spacecraft was launched to the International Space Station from the Baikonur cosmodrome at 17:22 Moscow time.
The crews of the ISS 16th prime expedition (ISS-16) and 13th visiting expedition (VC-13) are aboard the Russian space vehicle. The vehicle crew includes Yuri Malenchenko (Russian cosmonaut-researcher from Yu.A. Gagarin CTC, commander, flight engineer-1 of ISS-16), Peggy Whitson (NASA astronaut, vehicle flight engineer, ISS-16 commander), as well as citizen of Malaysia, participant of space flight Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor.
The launch tasks are: scheduled rotation of two crewmembers of the 15th prime crew (ISS-15) – Fedor Yurchikhin (RSC Energia cosmonaut-researcher, ISS-15 commander) and Oleg Kotov (Yu.A. Gagarin CTC cosmonaut-researcher, ISS-15 flight engineer), as well as Soyuz TMA-10 vehicle, which was launched on April 7, 2007, and had been operating as part of the station configuration as ACRV since April 9, 2007. NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson who was delivered to the station by Atlantis on June 10, 2007, will stay aboard the station as a member of ISS-16. Reentry for landing of Fedor Yurchikhin, Oleg Kotov and Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor is to be performed by the Soyuz TMA-10 vehicle on October 21, 2007.
According to the telemetry information and crew reports, the Soyuz TMA-11 onboard systems are functioning within the design modes.
The vehicle processing and launch at the cosmodrome were performed under the direction of the State commission. The chairman of the State commission is A.N. Perminov, Director of the Federal Space Agency. The Commission took decisions on implementation of the processing and launch phases on the basis of conclusions of the Technical Management. V.A. Lopota, President and General Designer of RSC Energia, is the technical manager of flight tests of manned space complexes.
During final operations of processing and launch officials and specialists of the Corporation, representatives of Roscosmos, cooperating enterprises and organizations of Russia rocket & space industry, specialists of NASA, ESA and Malaysia worked at Baikonur.
The vehicle docking with the station is planned for October 12, 2007, at 18:52 Moscow time, to the Zarya FGB port of the ISS Russian segment. The station is ready to receive the new manned vehicle.
The Soyuz TMA vehicles are being developed and manufactured by S.P. Korolev RSC Energia in cooperation with enterprises and organizations of the rocket & space industry of Russia. The first vehicle of this modification was launched under the ISS program on October 30, 2002, and landed on May 4, 2003.