October 24, 2008. S.P.Korolev RSC Energia - Mission Control Center,
Korolev, Moscow region

At 7:37, Moscow Time, Soyuz TMA-12 descent vehicle returned to Earth.
Russian cosmonauts S. Volkov and O. Kononenko have completed their flight under the program of Expedition 17 to the International Space Station (ISS-17), and a spaceflight participant, US citizen R. Garriott has completed his flight under the program of the visiting mission 15.
Russian cosmonaut Yu. Lonchakov and NASA astronauts M. Fincke and G. Chamitoff continue their work on-board ISS under the program of expedition ISS-18.
At the Mission Control Center near Moscow (MCC-M), the work in support of the Soyuz TMA-12 de-orbiting maneuvers and re-entry, the search for the landed descent vehicle and evacuation of the crew from it was performed under the supervision of the State Commission (The Chairman of the Commission is the Head of the Federal Space Agency A.N. Perminov) and the Technical Management for the flight tests of manned space systems (headed by the President of the S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, General Designer V.A. Lopota).
During re-entry the Soyuz TMA-12 flight was controlled by the Lead Operations Control Team working at MCC-M in cooperation with the specialists of the Federal Air-navigation Service, other Russian organizations and services, as well as the US Mission Control Center in Houston. The final descent and landing operations were witnessed by the representatives of FSA, NASA, ESA, Russian companies and organizations involved in the ISS program that were present at MCC-M.
After crew evacuation from the descent vehicle, a briefing was held at MCC-M for Russian and foreign journalists. Its participants included managers and representatives of Roscosmos, RSC Energia, NASA, ESA, prime companies in the Russian space industry.

 For information:

1. RSC Energia is the prime organization for developing and operating the ISS Russian segment, its modules (Zvezda, Pirs, etc.), as well as spacecraft of the Soyuz TMA and Progress type. Mission control for the ISS Russian Segment and the spacecraft is provided by the Lead Operations Control Team of MCC-M. The Flight Director is the RSC Energia first deputy general designer, pilot-cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev.

2.  The descent vehicle made a soft landing on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan near the town of Arkalyk. The search and rescue facilities and specialists accomplished a prompt and immediate retrieval of the crew and the descent vehicle from the landing site.




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