Soyuz TMA-08M approaches the ISS
|Mission type||ISS crew rotation|
|Mission duration||6 months (planned)|
|Spacecraft||Soyuz 11F732A47 No.708|
|Spacecraft type||Soyuz-TMA 11F747|
|Start of mission|
|Launch date||28 March 2013, 20:43:20UTC|
|Launch site||Baikonur 1/5|
|End of mission|
|Landing date||11 September 2013 (planned)|
|Docking with ISS|
|Docking port||Poisk zenith|
|Docking date||29 March 2013, 02:28 UTC|
(l-r) Cassidy, Vinogradov, and Misurkin
Soyuz TMA-08M (Russian: Союз ТМА-08M meaning Union TMA-08M), identified as Soyuz 34 or 34S by NASA, is a 2013 flight to the International Space Station. It transported three members of the Expedition 35 crew to the International Space Station. TMA-08M is the 117th flight of a Soyuz spacecraft, the first flight launching in 1967. The Soyuz is scheduled to remain docked to the space station for the Expedition 36 increment to serve as an emergency escape vehicle.
The Russian Soyuz TMA-08M utilized the new 6-hour fast rendezvous flight profile developed by the Russian Federal Space Agency (RKA) and previously tested on Progress M-16M and M-17M, instead of the usual two-day rendezvous, making it possible for crew members to leave ground facilities and board the International Space Station in less time than a typical transatlantic flight.
|Commander||Pavel Vinogradov, RKA
|Flight Engineer 1||Alexander Misurkin, RKA
|Flight Engineer 2||Christopher Cassidy, NASA
|Commander||Oleg Kotov, RKA|
|Flight Engineer 1||Sergey Ryazansky, RKA|
|Flight Engineer 2||Michael S. Hopkins, NASA|
The rollout of the Soyuz FG Rocket occurred on 26 March 2013. After being erected into position at the launch pad, the launch vehicle was prepared for the countdown and its launch on 28 March. Final cargo items including some time-critical experiment payloads for the Russian segment of the space station were loaded into the Soyuz at the launch pad.
The Soyuz FG Rocket carrying the Soyuz TMA-08M atop was launched from Site 1/5 at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 20:43 GMT. All stages of the Soyuz performed normally, and less than nine minutes later it delivered the Soyuz TMA-08M crew of Pavel Vinogradov, Aleksandr Misurkin, and Christopher Cassidy into orbit. For the ride into space, Soyuz Commander Vinogradov was strapped into the center seat while board engineer Misurkin and flight Engineer Chris Cassidy took the left and the right seats, respectively.
Following orbital insertion, Soyuz TMA-08M immediately began rendezvous operations. On the first orbit, the spacecraft executed its first two programmed engine burns. On the second orbit, actual orbital parameters were transmitted from a Russian ground site. With these parameters, Soyuz performed eight further rendezvous burns over the next five hours of flight.
The docking of Soyuz TMA-08M to the space station was accomplished after just four orbits and just under six hours post launch. The docking of the spacecraft to the MRM-2 Poisk module occurred at 2:28 GMT on 29 March 2013 slightly ahead of the schedule. The event set a new record for the fastest manned docking for the International Space Station program. Previous Soyuz launches had taken two days.
After the hatches opened at 4:35 GMT, the newly arrived Soyuz crew was welcomed aboard the space station by Expedition 35 commander Chris Hadfield and flight engineers Thomas Marshburn and Roman Romanenko. All six crew members participated in a welcome ceremony with family members and mission officials gathered at the Russian Mission Control Center near Moscow.
|Wikinews has related news: Soyuz TMA-08M launches to International Space Station, arrives in record time|
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Soyuz TMA-08M|
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