On Return of ISS-15 and VE-13 Crews to Earth


October 21, 2007.  S.P. Korolev RSC Energia – MCC-M,
Korolev, Moscow Area

The Descent Module (DM) of the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft has returned to Earth the commander and flight engineer of the 15th expedition of the International Space Station (ISS), as well as the space flight participant Malaysia’s national Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor who in the period from October 12 to October 21 2007 worked under the 13th visiting expedition program (VE-13).
Fyodor Yurchkhin (ISS-15 crew commander, Soyuz TMA-10 flight engineer, Korolev RSC Energia test-cosmonaut) and Oleg Kotov (ISS-15 flight engineer, Soyuz TMA-10 commander, RGNII TsPK after Gagarin test-cosmonaut) have completed the program of a 197-day flight. NASA astronaut Clayton Anderson (ISS-15 flight engineer) who has been working on board the station since June 10 2007, continues the flight under the plan as a ISS-16 crew member, waiting for the arrival of the rotation crew via the Shuttle.
At the Mission Control Center, near Moscow (MCC-M) the activities on Soyuz TMA-10 deorbiting and landing maneuvers, search of the landed DM and crew evacuation from DM were conducted under control of the State Commission (the Chairman is Head of Roskosmos A.N. Perminov) and Technical Management for Manned Space Complex flight testing (headed by RSC Energia President, General Designer V.A. Lopota).
The Soyuz TMA-10 flight in the phase of returning to Earth was controlled by the Lead Operations Control Team (LOCT) residing at MCC-M and working in coordination with U.S. Mission Control Center specialists (Houston). The Flight Director is RSC Energia First Deputy General Designer V.A. Soloviev.
The Mission Control Center during final operations on spacecraft deorbiting was attended by: Head of Roskosmos, Chairman of the State Commission A.N. Perminov, Malaysia’s Vice-Premier Najib Razak, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Jamaludin Jarjis, Malaysia’s ambassador in the RF Mohamad Khalis, representatives of NASA and ESA, Russian and foreign enterprises and organizations participating in ISS program implementation.
The ISS-16 expedition crew – the Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (Soyuz TMA-11 commander, ISS-16 crew flight engineer-1) and the U.S. astronauts Peggy Whitson (ISS-16 crew commander, Soyuz TMA-11 flight engineer) and Clayton Anderson (ISS-16 crew flight engineer) – continues performing the flight program activities on board ISS.

 For reference:
1. The Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft was undocked on October 21, 2007 from the ISS Russian Segment Zvezda Service Module port at 11:14 Moscow time by the commands of the Mission Control Center, near Moscow (MCC-M). The deorbiting went nominally in the automatic controlled descent mode with transition to the backup, automatically controlled ballistic descent mode. By the spacecraft crew commander’s report received at 14:18 Moscow time, the search and rescue services were operationally re-directed at the updated point of DM landing and provided its timely search, tracking in the phase of parachuting and landing with the subsequent crew evacuation from the landing site.
2. The Descent Module of the spacecraft landed at 14:36 Moscow time 10 km from the settlement of Tolybai, Republic of Kazakhstan. The coordinates of the landing point are: 50 degrees 29 minutes 01 second N, 62 degrees 17 minutes 20 seconds E.
3. The reasons for DM transition to the ballistic descent mode are clarified by a technical commission established at Korolev RSC Energia.
4. The Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft was operating attached to ISS 197 days as a life boat. It was replaced with the Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft that delivered to the station a rotation crew for two crewmembers of the 16th prime expedition.
5. The Soyuz manned spacecraft developed and manufactured by Korolev RSC Energia have been flying since 1966, among them the Soyuz TMA spacecraft – since 2002.




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