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OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
about the landing of Soyuz TMA-3 descent vehicle
 

April 30, 2004. Korolev, Moscow Region.

The Expedition 8 crew of the International Space Station (ISS) consisting of Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri (Soyuz TMA-3 commander, ISS-8 flight engineer, instructor-testing cosmonaut of RSC Energia), U.S. astronaut Michael Foale (Soyuz TMA-3 flight engineer, ISS-8 commander, NASA) and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andre Kuipers, Soyuz TMA-3 flight engineer, the sixth visiting crew (VC-6) flight engineer, citizen of the Netherlands returned to Earth in Soyuz TMA-3 descent vehicle (DV).
The spacecraft undocked from the Pirs module of the Russian Segment on April 30, 2004 at 0:52 Moscow time on command from the Mission Control Center in Moscow (MCC-M).
The spacecraft flight in a flyback phase was implemented in the automatic controllable descent mode. The designed deorbit burn of the spacecraft propulsion system, that was activated at 3:20, transferred the spacecraft to a descent trajectory, in which at 3:45 the spacecraft was nominally separated into the descent vehicle, habitation and instrumentation compartments. At 3:48 DV made a reentry and at 4:12 landed in the prescribed area located at a distance of about 60 km to the north-east of Arkalyk, Republic of Kazakhstan (coordinates of the specified landing point: 50.38 N and 67.20 E). The DV parachute descent and soft landing were implemented according to the nominal operation program of the landing system.
The crew and DV were rapidly evacuated from the landing site according to the regulations by using the search and rescue team personnel and means.
During the final flight operations of Soyuz-TMA-3 manned spacecraft MCC-M was attended from the Russian party by A.N. Perminov, Director of Federal Space Agency (FSA), N.F. Moiseev and V.A. Grin, Co-chairmen of the State Board, Yu. P. Semenov, Technical Director of Russian Manned Space Programs, General Designer of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, V.V.Tsibliev, Director of Yu.A. Gagarin CTC RGNII, N.A. Anfimov, General Director of TsNII of Machine-Building, Academician of RAS, FSA representatives, leading specialists of RSC Energia, Russian enterprises and organizations participating in the implementation of the ISS program; from the US party by Sean O'Keefe, NASA Administrator; from the Europeans partners involved in the ISS Project by Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, and Jorg Feustel-Buechl, Director of Manned Spaceflight and Microgravity, relatives and friends of Soyuz TMA-3 crewmembers.
The objectives of the ISS-8 expedition and VC-6 flight were successfully fulfilled.
During a nine-day mission onboard the Space Station ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers performed scientific experiments and investigations in the frame of the Delta mission.
Before going down to the Earth, Soyuz TMA-3 crew stowed about 60 kg of cargoes in the descent vehicle with the experiment results received under the Russian, US, European and commercial programs, trained emergency escape and descent operations. The crew also performed all necessary medical investigations and physical exercises in preparation for the de-orbit.
Soyuz TMA-3 that was in orbit 195 days, of which 193 days it was used as a crew rescue vehicle as part of the International Space Station, and was replaced with Souz-TMA-4, that delivered the ISS 9 Expedition crew to the Station, i.e. Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka (commander) and US astronaut Michael Fincke (flight engineer).
Soyuz TMA spacecraft being a modification of Soyuz spacecraft for operation in the frame of the ISS Project were developed by S.P. Korolev RSC Energia staff in cooperation with the subcontractors of the Russian rocket and space industry, and have been flying since November 2002.
Soyuz TMA-3 reentry flight was commanded by the Lead Operational Control Team (LOCT) at MCC-M (Flight Director is Pilot-Cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev), that worked in close cooperation with the specialists of the U.S. Mission Control Center (Houston).
The ISS Orbital Complex is flying in a near-earth orbit with the following parameters: maximum and minimum altitudes of 387.1 and 357.9 km, respectively, period of 91.7 min, and inclination of 65.64.
The ISS Orbital Complex of about 181.4 tons is operating in orbit in the following configuration: Functional Cargo Block Zarya, Service Module Zvezda, Docking Module/Compartment Pirs, manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-4, cargo vehicle Progress M1-11 (Russian Segment), as well as modules Unity, Destiny and airlock Quest and multi-link truss structure with the deployed solar arrays (U.S. On-Orbit Segment).
The ISS-9 crew continues the flight program in-orbit activities.
Following the report about Soyuz TMA-3 DV landing and crew evacuation, a briefing for all present journalists was held at MCC-M. The briefing was attended by A.N. Perminov, Yu.P. Semenov, S. O'Keefe, J-J Dordain, J.F.Buechl, V.V. Tsibliev, who congratulated all people, who were present and participated in the mission implementation, on successful completion of the ISS-8 and VC-6 flight programs, reported about the performed flight activities and further prospects of the station assembly with regard to the resumption of the Space Shuttle flights, and answered questions of the journalists.

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