On September 30, 2009 Russian crew transport spacecraft Soyuz TMA-16
was launched by the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle from the Baikonur cosmodrome (the ISS assembly program, flight 20S) and the
docking with the station occurred on October 2, 2009. Onboard the Soyuz TMA-16 spacecraft there are two members of the
crew of Expedition 21/22 (ISS-21/22), namely U.S. astronaut Jeffrey Williams and
Russian cosmonaut Maxim Suraev as well as spaceflight participant Canadian citizen Guy Laliberte performing the flight under
the program of the Russian visiting crew - 17
(VC - 17). The launch purpose is the following: the planned rotation of two crewmembers of Expedition-19/20 (ISS-19/20)
as well as the replacement of the Soyuz TMA-14 spacecraft which operated within the ISS orbital complex as a rescue
vehicle since March 28, 2009; implementation of fundamental, science and applied research, solution of the tasks for
technical support of the prime expedition crew flight and maintenance of the station and its systems serviceability as well.
On October 11, 2009, Soyuz TMA-14 undocked from ISS, and on the same day the descent vehicle carrying the space flight participant Guy Laliberte and two ISS-19/20 crew members - Gennady Padalka and Michael Barratt - returned to Earth.
On October 15, 2009 Baikonur Cosmodrome saw the launch of the Soyuz-U LV together with Progress M-03M transport cargo vehicle (ISS Mission Program, flight number is 35P), which on October 18 had docked with the ISS following its 3-day autonomous flight. The space vehicle delivered to the station about 2.4 tons of various cargoes that are needed to continue the ISS mission in manned mode and provide living and working conditions for the crew.
On November 10, 2009 Soyuz-U launch vehicle with transport cargo vehicle-module Progress M-MRM2 was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome. On November 12 the launch vehicle with the cargo vehicle docked with the ISS following a 2-day autonomous flight. The cargo space vehicle delivered to the ISS Mini-Research Module "Poisk" (MRM2) designed for the RS resupply with a dedicated module and facilities to provide extravehicular activities during the ISS RS operational use, conduct scientific studies, develop an additional part for docking and operation of manned and cargo space vehicles as part of the ISS RS.
On December 8, 2009 Instrument-Service Module of Progress M-MRM2 space vehicle-module was separated from Mini-Research Module Poisk in and after a short free flight was submerged in the pre-set area of the World Ocean waters.
On November 16, 2009 the U.S. orbiter Atlantis (STS-129) was launched (the ISS assembly program, the flight number – ULF3) which successfully docked to the ISS on November 18.
The crew has the following NASA astronauts: Hobaugh Charles Owen (commander), Wilmore Barry Eugene (pilot), Bresnik Randolph James, Foreman Michael James, Melvin Leland Devon and Satcher Robert Lee (all mission specialists).
The flight purpose was to deliver the additional equipment and consumables, preparation of Tranquility module to docking with ISS, assembly operations at the ISS external surface as well as a return of one crewmember (Nicole Stott) to the Earth.
During the joint flight the U.S. astronauts performed three EVAs.
On November 25, 2009 the Atlantis orbiter carrying seven astronauts undocked from the ISS, and on November 27, 2009 it successfully landed on Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA.
On December 21, 2009 Russian crew transport spacecraft Soyuz TMA-17
was launched by the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle from the Baikonur cosmodrome (the ISS assembly program, flight 21S) and the
docking with the station occurred on December 23, 2009. Onboard the Soyuz TMA-17 spacecraft there are three members of the
crew of Expedition 22/23 (ISS-22/23), namely Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov,
U.S. astronaut Timothy Creamer and Japan astronaut Soichi Noguchi.
The launch purpose is the following: to deliver the Expedition 22/23 crew (ISS-22/23) to the ISS; implementation of fundamental, science and applied research, solution of the tasks for technical support of the prime expedition crew flight and maintenance of the station and its systems serviceability as well.