ISS-66 mission


ISS crew:

Commander -
Tomas Pesquet

Flight engineers:
Petr Dubrov
Mark Vande Hei
Robert Shane Kimbrough
Megan McArthur
Akihiko Hoshide
Anton Shkaplerov




RSC Energia: Soyuz TMA-20M has delivered cosmonauts to the ISS

March 19, 2015

Today, March 19, manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz TMA-20M with the crew of the next long-duration expedition was successfully launched and docked to the International Space Station (ISS). By the spacecraft Roscosmos cosmonauts Aleksei OVCHININ, Oleg Skripochka and NASA astronaut Jeffrey Williams were delivered to the ISS.

Launch vehicle Soyuz-FG with manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz TMA-20M was launched from Area 1 (Gagarins launch pad) of the Baikonur Cosmodrome on March 19 at 00:26:39 Moscow Time.

By telemetry data the spacecraft injection in low near-earth orbit and its separation from the third stage of the launch vehicle occurred according to the schedule; immediately after separation the deployment of all antennas and the solar array panels were recorded.

The Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft rendezvoused with the ISS using a quick four-orbit rendezvous profile. In about six hours of its free flight the spacecraft reached the Station at the given point. The docking to Mini Research Module (MRM2) Poisk was performed at 06:09:58 Moscow Time in fully automatic mode.

After performing a number of preparatory operations (removing and drying spacesuits, performing a leak test of compartments and the docking interface, equalizing pressure, etc.) transfer hatches between the spacecraft and the ISS were open, and the newly arrived crewmembers transferred to the station. There they were met by ROSCOSMOS cosmonaut Yuri MALENCHENKO, NASA astronaut Timothy KOPRA and ESA astronaut Timothy PEAKE.

During half a year expedition the ISS crew is going to perform operations with Russian manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz TMA-19M, Soyuz TMA-20M, Soyuz MS, cargo transportation spacecraft Progress M-M and Progress MS, US cargo spacecraft Dragon and Cygnus; activities to maintain the station in good working order, upgrade it and run a program of applied science research and experiments (many of them are prepared by RSC Energia specialists); hold public relations events; take still pictures and videos, and also perform symbolic activities. The program of applied science research envisages 60 different experiments, namely biomedical, conducted in geophysics, biotechnology, etc. In this case the experiments related to photographic survey of the earth surface from orbit will be the most interesting, as cosmonauts themselves consider. The total scheduled duration of the crew mission will be over 170 days.

The Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft delivered to the ISS more than 100 kg of different cargoes including kits of fresh products and containers with food rations; medical aids to prevent the unfaivourable effect of weightlessness; radiation monitoring system elements, photo-, video equipment and components parts for it; medical examination kits, personal hygiene kits clothes and footwear. In the cargo compartment of the spacecraft there are devices and materials for biomedical experiments and also those in geophysics, biotechnology and other scientific experiments. The spacecraft also delivered to the station 30 kg of U.S. hardware.

The Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft is the last spacecraft of TMA-M series injected into orbit. Hereinafter for the crew delivery to the ISS and return to Earth it is planned to use the new modification manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz MS.

The new series manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz TMA-M developed and built by RSC Energia is an upgraded version of the Soyuz TMA spacecraft. It is equipped with new devices for the motion control and navigation system and an improved onboard measurement system. All the devices are built using state-of-the art electronic components and run the latest software. The upgrade made it possible to reduce the mass of the onboard equipment and thus enhance the capability to deliver payload to orbit. The spacecraft is designed to deliver the crews of up to three persons and their accompanying cargoes to the International Space Station (ISS) and also for their return to Earth. When attached to the ISS, the Soyuz TMA-M spacecraft serves as a crew rescue vehicle and is kept permanently ready for emergency crew return to Earth.

Mini Research Module Poisk (MRM2) is the fourth module in the Russian Segment of the International Space Station (ISS) and intended, along with conducting scientific experiments, for docking the manned and cargo spacecraft and providing support for extravehicular activities. The Poisk module was delivered to the ISS on November 12, 2009 as a part of the spacecraft module Progress M MRM2.


Joint Stock Company RSC Energia (a part of State Corporation Roscosmos) is the leader in the rocket and space industry, the prime contractor for manned space systems. It conducts work on the development of unmanned space and rocket systems (launch vehicles and orbital transfer vehicles), high-technology systems for various non-space applications. Since August 2014 the Corporation is headed by V.L. Solntsev.


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RSC Energia press-center



October 28, 2021
LV Soyuz-2.1a with SC Progress MS-18 is launched
October 5, 2021
LV Soyuz-2.1a with SC Soyuz MS-19 is launched



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