October 28, 2003. Korolev, Moscow area
The Primary Expedition 7 crew International Space Station
(ISS) - Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (ISS-7 commander,
Soyuz TMA-2 commander), American astronaut Edward Lu (ISS-7
flight engineer, Soyuz TMA-2 flight engineer-1) - and European
Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, Visiting Expedition 5 (VE-5)
flight engineer, Soyuz TMA-2 flight engineer-2 Pedro Duquer
of Spain have returned to Earth in the Descent Module (DM)
of the Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft.
The spacecraft was undocked on October 28th , 2003 from
the Zarya Module of the Russian Segment of the station at
2:17 a.m Moscow time on the command of the Mission Control
Center (MCC-M) outside Moscow.
The spacecraft flight on the portion of return to Earth
has been implemented in the mode of an automatic controlled
descent. As result of a calculated brake burn issued by
its Propulsion System whose activation was made at 4:47
a.m., the spacecraft was transferred to the descent trajectory
on which at 5:14 a.m. its nominal separation was carried
out to Descent Module, Orbital and Instrumentation/Propulsion
Compartments. At 5:17 a.m. DM entered the Earth atmosphere
and at 5:40. landed in the specified area located near the
town of Arkalyk of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The coordinates
of the calculated point are: 49.55? N latitude and 66.57?
E longitude. The DA descent with a parachute and its soft
landing were performed under a nominal landing system operation
Evacuation of the crew and DA from the landing area was
performed under a nominal program.
At MCC-M during the operations of the final phase of the
Soyuz TMA-2 manned spacecraft flight were present: from
the Russian side - Co-Chairmen of the State Commission N.F.
Moiseyev and V.A. Grin, Technical Manager of Russia's Manned
Programs, Korolev RSC Energia General Designer, Academician
Yu.P. Semenov, Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center RGNIITs
Director Major-General V.V. Tsybleyev, Rosaviakosmos representatives,
key specialists of RSC Energia, Russian enterprises and
organizations involved in the ISS program implementation;
from the American side - NASA Management representatives,
as well as ESA representatives, families and relatives of
the Soyuz TMA-2 crewmembers.
The flight tasks of ISS-7 Expedition and VE-5 Expedition
have been fulfilled successfully.
ESA astronaut Pedro Duque of Spain in the course of an eight-day
flight performed scientific experiments and studies within
the scope of the Cervantes program.
The Soyuz TMA-2 crew prior to its return to Earth stowed
into the Descent Module the cargoes totally weighing about
50 kg with the study results obtained under Russian, American,
European and commercial programs, tried out the operations
of complex escape and descent to Earth. The crew performed
also the necessary medical studies and physical exercises
to prepare for deorbiting.
The crew actions in the final phase of its flight (when
preparing the spacecraft for its undocking from the station
and descent) are being analyzed.
The Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft having been in flight 185 days,
of which 183 days - as an assured crew return vehicle of
the ISS Orbital Complex, has been replaced with the Soyuz
TMA-3 spacecraft that delivered to the station the Primary
Expedition 8 crew (ISS-8 crew) - Russian cosmonaut Alexander
Kaleri (Soyuz TMA-3 commander, ISS-8 flight engineer, RSC
Energia instructor-cosmonaut-tester) and American astronaut
Michael Foale (Soyuz TMA-3 flight engineer, ISS-8 commander,
The spacecraft of Soyuz TMA series being a Soyuz-type manned
spacecraft modification to operate within the scope of the
ISS project have been developed by Korolev RSC Energia team
in cooperation with the associate contractors of the Russian
rocket and space industry.
The Soyuz TMA-2 flight control in the phase of its return
to Earth was exercised by the Main Operational Management
Group (GOGU) residing at MCC-M (the Flight Director is pilot-cosmonaut
V.A. Soloviev) and working in concert with the specialists
of the American Mission Control Center (Houston).
The ISS Orbital Complex continues its flight on the near-earth
orbit with a 51.65? inclination, a maximum and minimum altitude
of 401.4 and 376.9 km, respectively, and a 92.1 min. period
of rotation around Earth.
At the present time the operating Orbital Complex weighing
about 181.5 t incorporates the Zarya Functional Cargo Block,
the Zvezda Service Module, the Pirs Docking Compartment-Module,
the Soyuz TMA-3 manned spacecraft, the Progress M-48 cargo
vehicle (Russian Segment), the Unity and Destiny Modules,
the Quest Airlock and a large multi-link truss structure
with the solar array panels deployed thereon (United States
The ISS-8 crew continuously performs on orbit the flight
program operations. The crew rotation is scheduled for the
time of implementing the flight program of the Soyuz TMA-4
spacecraft whose launch is planned for the spring 2004.
The basic data on the Soyuz TMA spacecraft and the experiment
program fulfilled during the VE-5 expedition implementation
are presented on RSC Energia Internet website, respectively: