May 27, 2009, Baikonur launch site,
branch office of S.P.Korolev RSC Energia

In accordance with the mission plan of the International Space Station (ISS) and Russian commitments under the ISS project, a manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-15 was launched from Baikonur launch site at 14:34:53 Moscow Time.

The objective of the launch was to deliver to the ISS the Expedition 20 crew (ISS-20): cosmonaut Roman Romanenko (spacecraft commander, Russia), and astronauts: a citizen of Belgium Frank De Winne (the spacecraft flight engineer 1, ESA) and a citizen of Canada Robert Thirsk (the spacecraft flight engineer 2, Canadian Space Agency).

The spacecraft was put into a parking low-Earth orbit with the following parameters: 51.65 inclination, 199.0 km minimal altitude, 240.7 km maximum altitude, 88.62 minutes orbital period.

The onboard systems of the spacecraft operate normally.

At the launch site, the spacecraft prelaunch processing and launch were performed under the direction of the State Commission (chaired by the head of Roscosmos A.N. Perminov). The Commission was basing its decisions to proceed with each next step in processing and launching on the final report of the Technical Management headed by the President of RSC Energia, Designer General V.A. Lopota.

According to the telemetry data and reports from the crew of ISS Expedition 19, the space station systems operate in normal mode. The station is ready for docking with the spacecraft.

 For reference:

  1. Currently working onboard ISS is the ISS-19 crew consisting of: Russian cosmonaut Gennadi Padalka (the crew commander), NASA astronaut Michael Barratt (flight engineer 1) and Japanese astronaut Koichi Wakata (flight engineer 2).
  2. S.P.Korolev RSC Energia is the prime manned space flight organization in the Russian rocket and space industry, responsible for the development of the ISS Russian Segment, its integration into the Space Station and its operation, including development and operation of principal Russian modules (Zvezda, Pirs, etc.), manufacturing, launch and operation of Soyuz TMA and Progress M spacecraft.
  3. The spacecraft docking with ISS is scheduled for May 29, 2009, at 16:36 Moscow Time, to the docking compartment of the Functional and Cargo Module.




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