about the Soyuz TMA-6 manned spacecraft launch to the ISS

15.04.2005, Baikonur Cosmodrome.

The Soyuz TMA-6 manned transport spacecraft developed and manufactured at S.P. Korolev Rocket & Space Corporation Energia was launched from the launch complex of Site #1 known as the Gagarin start.
The launch of the Souyz-FG integrated launch vehicle with the manned spacecraft was accomplished at 04:46:27 Moscow time.
The launch is intended to deliver the main expedition crew-11 (ISS-11) to the International Space Station; to carry out a planned replacement of expedition crew-10 (ISS-10) and the Soyuz TMA-5, which has been operating within the International Space Station since October 16, 2004, performing functions of the crew rescue vehicle; performance of activities under the visiting crew 8 program (VC-8), including conduct of experiments and research within the Eneida project, maintenance of the functionality of the station and its systems.
At present, the station transport-engineering support is provided solely by Russian vehicles – Soyuz TMA manned spacecraft and Progress M cargo vehicles – while the ISS mission program is being implemented with a reduced size (to two men) of the main crew, a reduced mass and complement of cargoes being delivered and returned, the number and scopes of space experiments and researches performed.
At a period of the ISS-11 expedition performance the U.S. party plans to recommence flights of the shuttles: Discovery STS-114 (May 15-25) and Atlantis STS-121 (July 12-21). It is expected that during the second flight a long-duration mission of an ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut will begin to verify integration and readiness of the Zvezda service module equipment for joint operations with the first European cargo vehicle Jules Verne.
The Soyuz TMA-6 crew includes Sergei Krikalev (spacecraft commander, ISS-11 commander, the sixth space flight), U.S astronaut John Phillips (ISS-11 flight-engineer, spacecraft flight-engineer-1, the second space flight) and ESA astronaut, citizen of Italy Roberto Vittori (spacecraft flight-engineer-2, the second space flight). Roberto Vittori is to work at the station under the visiting crew program and to return to the ground with the ISS-10 on board the Soyuz TMA-5 spacecraft.
The major tasks of the ISS-11 expedition include: replacement of the ISS-10 crew, maintenance of the station’s manned mode throughout the scheduled 175 days to the next crew rotation, support of undocking operations of Soyuz TMA-5, Progress M-52, Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft, docking, unloading and attached activities aboard the station with Progress M-53, Progress M-54, Soyuz TMA-7 spacecraft, performance of one EVA; implementation of the program of science and application research and experiments, support of activities under the visiting expedition programs and commercial contracts, return to the ground on board the Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft.
The Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft is inserted into a near-earth orbit with parameters: the inclination of 51.66°, minimum altitude of 198.55 km, maximum altitude of 245.50 km, period of 88.68 min.
The ISS-10 crew consisting of Russian cosmonaut Salizhan Sharipov (Soyuz TMA-5 commander, ISS-10 flight-engineer) and NASA astronaut Leroy Chiao (Soyuz TMA-5 flight-engineer, ISS-10 commander) performed required operations to prepare the orbital complex for docking.
The spacecraft docking is scheduled for April 17, 2005. The estimated time of a contact of the Pirs docking module of the ISS in-orbit complex is approximately 06:19.
The decision on the launch was made by the State Commission based on the Technical Management conclusion on the readiness of the complex and ground infrastructure components involved in the ISS program implementation.
The Technical Management includes general and chief designers, managers of enterprises – designers and manufacturers of complex’s components, systems and assemblies.
Representatives of the Federal Space Agency, NASA, ESA and other foreign space agencies, business circles of Russia, Italy, as well as leading Russian and foreign information agencies and TV companies observed the launch process.
The Main Operative Management Group (MOMG) located at the Moscow Mission Control Center (MCC-M) and interfacing with specialists of the U.S. Mission Control Center (MCC-H) performs the spacecraft flight control.
MOMG includes managers and leading specialists of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, specialists of other enterprises and organizations.
The Soyuz TMA-6 flight is proceeding in line with the approved program, its onboard systems operate with no comments. The crewmembers feel well.





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