May 29, 2009, S.P.Korolev RSC Energia - MCC-M,
Korolev, Moscow region
The Russian manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz TMA-15 has docked with the International Space Station (ISS).
The spacecraft approached ISS after two days of free flight in low Earth orbit. Rendezvous with the space station, its fly-around, stationkeeping and docking were performed in automatic mode.
The initial contact with the docking port on the Functional and Cargo Module Zarya of the Russian Segment of the space station took place at 16:34:25 Moscow Time.
The final flight operations in the course of the spacecraft rendezvous and docking with the space station were conducted 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-15 compartments and
the docking tunnel, and equalization of pressure in the
space station and the spacecraft, the transfer hatches were
opened. The crew of Soyuz TMA-15 (Russian cosmonaut R. Romanenko,
Canadian astronaut R. Thirsk
and European astronaut F.
De Winne) transferred to ISS where they were met
by the crew of Expedition ISS-19/20 (Russian cosmonaut G. Padalka,
US astronaut M. Barratt,
Japanese astronaut K. Wakata).
A joint international crew of 6 began its work on-board the space station on a permanent basis.
On-board systems of the ISS, and Soyuz TMA-14, Soyuz TMA-15 and Progress M-02M spacecraft operate normally.
The Mission Control Center near Moscow (MCC-M), from where the spacecraft rendezvous and docking with the ISS were controlled, held a press conference for journalists of the Russian and foreign mass media, and also conducted the first communications session with the joint space station crew. Noted in the course of these events was a special significance of the docking for further implementation of the ISS program.
- RSC Energia is the prime organization for developing and operating the ISS Russian segment, its modules (Zvezda, Pirs, etc.), and spacecraft Soyuz TMA and Progress M/M1.
- Mission control for the ISS Russian Segment and the spacecraft is provided by the Lead Operations Control Team (LOCT) of MCC-M. LOCT is headed by the Flight Director, RSC Energia First Deputy General Designer V.A.Soloviev.
- 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-14 and Soyuz TMA-15, cargo transportation spacecraft Progress M-02M.
- Beginning with this docking, two three-seater manned spacecraft of the Soyuz TMA type will be docked to the space station at all times in order to provide for the crew safety.