March 28, 2009, S.P.Korolev RSC Energia - MCC-M,
Korolev, Moscow region
The Russian manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz TMA-14 has docked with the International Space Station (ISS).
The spacecraft approached ISS after two days of free flight in low Earth orbit. Far approach to ISS, its fl-around and station keeping were performed in automatic mode. At the final approach phase the technical management decided to perform rendezvous and docking with the space station in the manual control mode, which was successfully carried out by the spacecraft commander Gennady Padalka.
The initial contact with the docking port on the instrumentation and propulsion compartment of the Zvezda Service Module of the ISS Russian Segment occurred at 16:05 Moscow Time, when ISS was within coverage 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 Management for flight tests of manned space systems is headed by the RSC Energia President and General Designer V.A.Lopota.
After a leak test of the Soyuz TMA-14 compartments and the docking tunnel, and equalization of pressure in the space station and the spacecraft, the transfer hatches were opened. The spacecraft crew transferred to the Russian segment of the ISS.
Working onboard the space station now is a joint international crew: Russian cosmonauts Yuri Lonchakov (ISS-18 flight engineer, Soyuz TMA-13 commander) and Gennady Padalka (commander of ISS-19/20, commander of Soyuz TMA-14), NASA astronauts Michael Fincke (ISS-18 commander, Soyuz TMA-13 flight engineer), Michael Barratt (flight engineer 1 of ISS-19/20, flight engineer of Soyuz TMA-14), Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata (flight engineer 2 of ISS-18, flight engineer of ISS-19/20) and a space flight participant, US citizen Charles Simonyi.
The on-board systems of the ISS, and Soyuz TMA-13, Soyuz TMA-14 and Progress M-66 spacecraft operate normally.
Upon completion of the docking, a press conference was held for journalists of Russian and foreign information agencies and TV companies. Reporters' questions about further ISS activities, particulars of the Soyuz TMA-14 docking, and the program of activities on-board ISS for the joint crew were answered by: Head of Manned Programs at Roscosmos A.B. Krasnov, Deputy NASA Administrator M. Hose, RSC Energia President and General Designer V.A. Lopota.
Taking part in the press conference were: Assistant to the President of the Russian Federation E.V. Popova, a representative of the Russian orthodox church Right Reverend Feofan, deputy manager of the ISS program at Johnson Space Center K.Shairman, deputy chairman of the Sate Commission, deputy general director of TsNIIMash V.A. Grin, general director of TsNIIMash G.G. Raikunov, first deputy general designer of RSC Energia V.A. Soloviev, deputy head of the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center Yu.P. Gidzenko, deputy director of IMBP V.V. Bogomolov, winners of the children's drawing competition to create the patch for Soyuz TMA-14 Anya Chibiskova and Stas Pyatkin.
- 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 (LOCT) of MCC-M. The LOCT is headed by the Flight Director, who is the S.P. Korolev RSC Energia first deputy general designer, pilot-cosmonaut V.A.Soloviev.
- Operating at present as a part of the ISS Russian Segment are: cargo module Zarya, Service Module Zvezda, docking compartment/module Pirs, manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-13 and Soyuz TMA-14, cargo transportation spacecraft Progress M-66.