October 11, 2005. Korolev, Moscow Region.
Upon completion of the flight program the Expedition 11
crew of the International Space Station (ISS-11) consisting
of a Russian cosmonaut, Sergei Krikalev (crew and spacecraft
commander, RSC Energia test cosmonaut, six space flights)
and NASA astronaut John Phillips (flight engineer, two
space flights) returned to the Earth in the descent module
of Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft. A U.S. citizen Gregory Olsen,
a spaceflight participant (first space flight), who has
been working onboard the ISS from October 3 through October
10, 2005 under the visiting crew (VC-9) program returned
to the Earth together with the ISS-11 crew.
The spacecraft undocked from the Zarya module of the Russian Segment of the ISS
on October 11, 2005 at 01:49:14 Moscow time on commands from the Mission Control
Center in Moscow (MCC-M). The spacecraft descent was carried out in the nominal
The descent module landed at 05:10 Moscow time 57 km to the north-east of the
town of Arkalyk, Republic of Kazakhstan. Early in the morning in insufficient
lighting conditions an operative timely search of the descent module, escort
of the decent module during the parachute descent and landing and subsequent
evacuation of the crew from the landing site were provided by the search and
The coordinates of the landing point are 50° 44’ N and 67° 25’41” E.
A deviation from the center of the landing site was about 9.8 km that is considerably
less than the allowable value.
Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft was flying in orbit for 179 days, of which 177 days as
a crew rescue vehicle as part of the ISS Orbital Complex. It was replaced with
Souz-TMA-7, that delivered the Expedition 12 crew (ISS-12) consisting of Russian
cosmonaut Valery Tokarev (Soyuz TMA-7 commander, ISS-12 flight engineer), U.S.
astronaut William McArthur (ISS-12 commander, Soyuz TMA-7 flight engineer), as
well as U.S. citizen Gregory Olsen, space flight participant.
The tasks of the ISS-11 and VC-9 flight have been fulfilled.
During the ISS Expedition 11 flight the station and its systems functionality
was maintnaied. Two cargo vehicles Progress M-53 and Progress M-54 and U.S. reusable
space vehicle Discovery (STS-114) and manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-7 were received.
An egress into space from the Pirs module was performed. Soyuz TMA-6 was relocated
from the docking port of the Russian Pirs module to the docking port of the Functional
Cargo Block Zarya. The science and applied research and experimental program
was completely implemented. The ISS Russian Segment was outfitted with the delivered
equipment as foreseen by the flight program.
Gregory Olsen, a space flight participant fulfilled the visiting crew program
covering the Earth and its atmosphere observation using an IR video camera; conducted
photo and video imagery of the Earth surface and crew onboard the ISS RS; performed
demonstration physical experiments for schoolchildren through TV bridges and
radio amateur communication. Together with the ISS-11 and ISS-12 crews Gregory
Olsen worked in the Station pressurized compartments, took part in the station
emergency rescue operations training, conducted necessary medical investigations
and physical exercises in preparation for the reentry, prepared cargoes for return
from orbit and installed his seat liner in the third seat of Soyuz TMA-6 descent
During the joint flight of the ISS-11, ISS-12 and VC-9 crews TV reportings about
the Soyuz TMA-7 crew arrival to the ISS took place, the crew performed the ceremony
of ISS-11/ISS-12 handover and parting, had a phone conversation with M.E. Fradkov,
Chairman of the Government of the RF, during his working visit to MCC-M and S.P.
Korolev RSC Energia. A press conference for the Russian and foreign mass media
was held during a TV session.
At MCC-M the Soyuz TMA-6 spacecraft deorbit and reentry maneuvers were performed
under control of N.N. Sevastiyanov, RSC Energia President, General Designer of
Manned Space Systems and Technical Manager of Flight Tests.
Soyuz TMA-6 reentry flight was commanded by the Lead Operational Control Team
(LOCT) located at MCC-M and working in cooperation with the specialists of the
U.S. Mission Control Center (Houston). The Flight Director is V.A. Soloviev,
RSC Energia Vice-President, Deputy General Designer, flight cosmonaut.
During the final spacecraft reentry operations the Mission Control Center was
attended by A.P. Perminov, Roskosmos Director, co-chairmen of the State Board:
N.F. Moiseev, Deputy Director of Roscosmos, and V.A. Grin, Deputy General Director
of TsNII of Machine-Building, N.A. Anfimov, General Director of TsNII of Machine-Building,
Academician of RAS, V.V.Tsibliev, Director of GCTS RGNII, Rex Geveden, NASA Associate
Administrator, and Michael Sufferdini, Manager of the Space Station Program,
as well as representatives of Roskosmos, NASA, Russian enterprises and organizations
participating in the implementation of the ISS program.
The ISS Orbital Complex is flying in a near-earth orbit with an inclination of
51.7°, maximum and minimum altitudes of 366.4 and 347.1 km, respectively, period
of revolution of 91.4 min. The Complex mass is about 186,4 tons
The Expedition 12 crew, consisting of V. Tokarev and W. McArthur continue in-orbit
operations under the flight program.
Following the report about the crew evacuation from the Soyuz TMA-6 descent module,
a briefing for the Russian and foreign journalists took place at MCC-M.
A.P. Perminov, Roskosmos Director, official representatives of the NASA management:
Rex Geveden and Michael Sufferdini, N.N. Sevastiyanov, RSC Energia President,
General Designer, V.V.Tsibliev, Director of GCTS RGNII, A.B. Krasnov, Head of
Piloted Programs Department of Roskosmos, participated in the briefing answered
the questions of journalists and highly appreciated the execution of the ISS-11
flight program and Soyuz TMA-6 descent module landing.
The same morning Soyuz TMA-6 crew was transported by RGNII of Yu. Gagarin GCTC
plane to Chkalovsky airdrome, where they were met by the managers of Roscosmos,
RSC Energia, RGNII of Yu. Gagarin GCTC, IBMP, representatives of NASA management,
as well as relatives and friends. From the airdrome the crew was brought by bus
to the Star City for rest and post-flight activities.