April 2, 2010. 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 international project, a manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz TMA-18 was launched from Baikonur launch site at 08:04 Moscow Time.
The objective of the launch is to deliver to ISS a crew of three in order bring the crew of Expedition Twenty Three (ISS-23) up to six.
The spacecraft crew: Flight engineer of ISS-23, commander of ISS-24,
commander of Soyuz TMA A.Skvortsov;
flight engineer of ISS-23/24, flight engineer of Soyuz TMA M.Kornienko
(both from Russia); flight engineer of ISS-23/24, flight engineer
of Soyuz TMA T.Caldwell-Dyson
The spacecraft was put into a parking low-Earth orbit with the
following parameters: 51.66 degrees inclination, 198.47 km minimal
altitude , 260.5 km maximum altitude, 88.81 minutes orbital period.
The onboard systems of the spacecraft operate normally.
At the launch site, the spacecraft prelaunch processing and 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 final report 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, the space station systems operate in normally. The station is ready for docking with the spacecraft.
- S.P.Korolev RSC Energia is the prime manned space flight organization in the Russian rocket and space industry, responsible for the development of the ISS Russian Segment, its integration into the Space Station and its operation, including development and operation of its principal modules (Zvezda, Pirs, Poisk, etc.), manufacturing, launch and operation of Soyuz TMA and Progress M spacecraft.
- Currently working onboard ISS is the crew of ISS-23 consisting
of: O.Kotov (Russia), T.Creamer
(USA) and S.Noguchi (Japan).
- The docking of Soyuz TMA-18 with ISS is scheduled for April 4, 2010 at 09:26 Moscow Time.