December 21, 2009. Baikonur launch site,
branch office of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
In accordance with the International Space Station (ISS) Mission Program and the Russian commitments under this International Project, the Soyuz TMA-17 manned transport spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 00:52:00 Moscow Time.
The Soyuz TMA-17 crew: Oleg
Kotov (Soyuz Commander, Russia), Timothy
J. Creamer (Flight Engineer, USA) and Soichi
Noguchi (Flight Engineer, Japan)
The objective of the launch is to deliver the Expedition 22/23 crew (ISS-22/23) to the ISS.
The spacecraft was placed into reference near-earth orbit with the following parameters: inclination of 51.65 degrees, minimum altitude of 199.8 km, maximum altitude of 260.12 km, orbital period of 88.8 min.
The spacecraft onboard systems operate in normal mode.
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 took decisions on implementation of the prelaunch processing and launch phases guided by the conclusions drawn by the Technical Management headed by V.A. Lopota, the President of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, General Designer.
According to the telemetry data and reports from the Expedition 22 crew currently working onboard the ISS, the station onboard systems operate in normal mode. The Station is ready for docking with the spacecraft.
- S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, the prime manned space flight organization in the Russian rocket and space industry, is responsible for development of the ISS Russian Segment, its integration into the Space Station and its operation including development and operation of its principal modules (Zvezda, Pirs, Poisk and others), manufacturing, launch and operation of Soyuz TMA spacecrafts and Progress space vehicles.
- The ISS-22 crew: M. Suraev
(flight engineer, Russia) and J. Williams
(ISS commander, the U.S.)
- Soyuz TMA-17 docking with the International Space Station is scheduled for December 23, 2009, at 1:54 a.m. Moscow time.