October 14, 2008. S.P.Korolev RSC Energia, Korolev, Moscow region -
Mission Control Center, Korolev
The Russian manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz TMA-13 has docked with the International Space Station (ISS).
The spacecraft approached ISS after two days of free flight in low Earth orbit. The docking was performed in automatic mode.
The initial contact of the spacecraft docking unit with the docking port on the Functional and Cargo Module Zarya took place at 12:26 Moscow Time At that time ISS was within coverage area of Russian ground tracking stations.
The final flight operations in the course of the spacecraft rendezvous and docking with the space station were conducted from the Mission Control Center near Moscow (MCC-M) under the supervision of the State Commission and the Technical Management for the flight testing of manned space systems. The Chairman of the State Commission is the head of the Federal Space Agency A.N. Perminov. The Technical Manager is the RSC Energia Designer General V.A. Lopota.
After a leak test of the Soyuz TMA-13 compartments and the docking tunnel, and equalizing the pressure in the space station and the spacecraft, the transfer hatches were opened. The spacecraft crew transferred to the Russian segment of the space station. Working onboard ISS now is a joint international crew. It consists of three Russian cosmonauts, two US astronauts and a spaceflight participant, US citizen R. Garriott. The Russian part of the crew is represented by: RSC Energia cosmonaut tester O. Kononenko and two cosmonaut testers from Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center - O. Volkov and Yu. Lonchakov. The US part of the crew consists of NASA astronauts M. Fincke and G. Chamitoff.
The on-board systems of the ISS, transportation spacecraft Soyuz TMA-13, Soyuz TMA-12 and Progress M-65 operate normally.
Upon completion of the docking, a press conference was held for journalists of Russian and foreign information agencies and TV companies. The journalists' questions were answered by representatives of Roscosmos, NASA, ESA, RSC Energia and the Cosmonaut Training Center.
After the crew of Soyuz TMA-13 transferred to the ISS, a communications session was held between MCC-M and the space station.
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. Operating at present as a part of the ISS Russian Segment are: Functional and cargo module Zarya, Service Module Zvezda, docking compartment/module Pirs, manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-13 and Soyuz TMA-12, cargo transportation spacecraft Progress M-65.
3. The space station orbital parameters at the moment of the docking were: apogee altitude of 368.4 km, perigee altitude of 351.2 km, orbital period of 91.5 min.