December 15, 2010. Baikonur launch site,
branch office of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
In compliance with the International Space Station (ISS) and the Russian party commitments on this International Project the Soyuz TMA-20 manned transport vehicle (MTV) was launched from the Baikonur cosmodrome at 22:09:25 Moscow Time.
The launch objective is to deliver three persons to the ISS to bring the crewmembers of the Prime Expedition (ISS-26) up to six persons.
The Soyuz TMA-20 vehicle crew is the following: Russian cosmonaut
Dmitriy Kondratiev (commander),
ESA astronaut, citizen of Italy, Paolo
Nespoli (flight engineer) and U.S. astronaut Catherine
Coleman (flight engineer-2).
The vehicle has been injected into reference near-earth orbit with the following parameters: an inclination of 51.64 deg., minimum altitude of 200.67 km and maximum altitude of 253.30 km, revolution of 88.75 min.
The vehicle onboard systems operate in the design modes.
The vehicle prelaunch processing and launch at the cosmodrome were accomplished under the direction of the State Commission (chaired by Head of Roscosmos A.N. Perminov). The Commission accepted decisions to implement the prelaunch processing and launch phases based on the reports of Technical Management led by V.A. Lopota, S.P. Korolev RSC Energia President, General Designer.
According to the telemetry information and reports of the crew working onboard the ISS, the Station onboard systems operate in the design modes. The Station is prepared for docking with the vehicle.
- S.P. Korolev RSC Energia is a leading enterprise of rocket-space industry of Russia in the field of the manned space flight programs, responsible for the development of the ISS Russian Segment, its integration into the Station and operation including the development and operation of its basic modules (Zvezda, Pirs, Poisk, Rassvet, etc.), manufacture, launch and operation of the Soyuz TMA, Progress M vehicles.
- Currently the ISS-26 crew works onboard the ISS, which is composed
of cosmonauts A. Kalery,
(Russia) and astronaut S. Kelly (USA).
- The Soyuz TMA-20 docking with the ISS is scheduled to be performed on December 17, 2010 at 23:12 Moscow Time.