RSC Energia: Spacecraft Soyuz MS-04 approached the ISS

April 20, 2016

The manned transportation spacecraft of the new modification Soyuz MS-04 with the next long-duration expedition crew has successfully docked to the International Space Station (ISS).

The spacecraft delivered ROSCOSMOS cosmonaut Fedor YURCHIKHIN and NASA astronaut Jack FISHER to the ISS.

The launch vehicle Soyuz-FG with spacecraft Soyuz MS-04 was launched from Site No. 1 Gagarins launch pad of the Baikonur Cosmodrome on April 20 at 10:13:43 Moscow time. The spacecraft separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle at the expected time and started to approach the ISS using a four-orbit rendezvous capability.

The vehicle reached the station after about six hours of the free flight. The docking with Mini Research Module (MRM2) Poisk was performed in the automatic mode. The contact of the vehicles was detected at 16:18:34 Moscow time and the mechanical capture was performed at - 16:18:34 Moscow time. The rendezvous and docking used the improved RF system Kurs-NA.

After carrying out preparatory operations (taking spacesuits off and their drying, leak check of compartments and interface seals, pressure equalization, etc.) between the spacecraft and the ISS the transfer hatches will be open and the newly arrived crewmembers will transfer onboard the station. There they will be met by ROSCOSMOS cosmonaut Oleg NOVITSKY, NASA astronaut Peggy WHITSON and ESA astronaut Thomas PESQUET.

During the stay on the ISS the ISS-51 and ISS-52 Expeditions crew will have to perform routine operations to maintain the ISS in an operational status and outfit it with equipment. Planned are also operations with cargo transport vehicles of Progress MS series, Cygnus and Dragon; preparation for return to the ground of two ISS-50/51 Expedition crewmembers by Soyuz MS-03 and docking of Soyuz MS-05 carrying the crew of the ISS-52/53 Expedition to Mini Research Module Rassvet (MRM1).

During the ISS-51 and ISS-52 Expeditions it is planned to implement 531 sessions of 62 experiments each. Sixty experiments were started in the previous increments, two experiments (Terminator, IMPAKT) are new ones. The applied scientific research program envisages biomedical, geophysical, biotechnological and other experiments. At the moment the planned duration of the crew flight is 136 days.

The transport manned vehicle Soyuz MS developed and built by RSC Energia is designed to deliver the crews of up to three and their accompanying cargos to the International Space Station (ISS), as well as to return them to Earth. When attached to the ISS, it also serves as a crew rescue vehicle and is kept permanently ready for emergency crew return to Earth.

The new-series spacecraft Progress MS and Soyuz MS is a result of a radical upgrade of Progress M and Soyuz TMA spacecraft. The onboard command radio system Kvant-B was replaced with an integrated command and telemetry system with an additional telemetry channel. The new command radio link receives signals via relay satellites Luch-5, thanks to which the radio coverage zone for the spacecraft was significantly increased up to 70% of an orbit. The spacecraft are equipped with an advanced onboard radio system for rendezvous and docking Kurs-NA. As compared to the earlier version of Kurs-A, it has improved mass-dimensional characteristics and makes it possible to exclude one of the three radio antennas from the equipment configuration. Instead of the analog TV system Klyost, the spacecraft is using a digital TV system, which enables to maintain communication between the spacecraft and the station via the space-to-space communication system. The onboard equipment of the Soyuz MS and Progress MS series spacecraft includes a new Digital Backup Loop Control Unit developed by RSC Energia, an upgraded Rate Sensor Unit BDUS-3A and a LED headlight SFOK. Thanks to the use of the new ground and onboard radio systems, it became possible to use state-of-the-art data transmission protocols, which resulted in improved operational stability of the spacecraft control system.

Most of the technical solutions incorporated in the design of Soyuz MS and Progress MS spacecraft will be used in development of the manned transport vehicle of a new generation that is being developed by RSC Energia.

Mini Research Module Poisk (MRM2) is the fourth module of the International Space Station (ISS) Russian Segment and intended, along with carrying out scientific experiments, for docking of manned transport and cargo vehicles and ensuring extravehicular activity (EVA). Module Poisk was delivered to the ISS on November 12, 2009 as part of Progress M-MRM2.


RSC Energia is the leader in the rocket and space industry, and the prime contractor for manned space systems. The Corporation conducts work on the development of unmanned space and rocket systems (launch vehicles and orbital transfer vehicles), and high-technology systems for various non-space applications. Since August 2014, the Corporation is headed by Vladimir Lvovich Solntsev.

SC ROSCOSMOS is a State Corporation that was established in August 2015 to implement a comprehensive reform of the Russian rocket-and-space industry. State Corporation ROSCOSMOS ensures the implementation of the Russian governments space program and its legal regulation. ROSCOSMOS is also placing orders for the development, manufacture and supply of space equipment and space infrastructure objects. The state corporation is also responsible for international space cooperation and arranging conditions for the future use of results of space activities in the social and economic development of Russia.




RSC Energia press-center



February 11, 2018
The launch of LV Soyuz-2.1a with SC Progress MS-08 is planned
December 17, 2017
LV Soyuz-FG with SC Soyuz MS-07 is launched.

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