Soyuz TMA-12M

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Soyuz TMA-12M
Soyuz TMA-12M approaches the station.jpg
Soyuz TMA-12M approaches the ISS, 27 March 2014.
Mission type ISS crew transport
Operator Roskosmos
COSPAR ID 2014-013A
Mission duration 6 months (planned)
Spacecraft properties
Spacecraft type Soyuz-TMA 11F747
Manufacturer RKK Energia
Crew
Crew size 3
Members Aleksandr Skvortsov
Oleg Artemyev
Steven R. Swanson
Callsign Cliff
Start of mission
Launch date 25 March 2014
21:17 UTC[1]
Rocket Soyuz-FG
Launch site Baikonur 1/5
End of mission
Landing date September 2014 (planned)
Orbital parameters
Reference system Geocentric
Regime Low Earth
Docking with ISS
Docking port Poisk zenith
Docking date 27 March 2014
23:53 UTC[2]

Soyuz-TMA-12M-Mission-Patch.png Expedition 37 backup crew members in front of the Soyuz TMA spacecraft mock-up in Star City, Russia.jpg
(l-r) Swanson, Skvortsov and Artemyev


Soyuz programme
(Manned missions)
← Soyuz TMA-11M Soyuz TMA-13M

Soyuz TMA-12M is a 2014 flight to the International Space Station. It transported three members of the Expedition 39 crew to the International Space Station. TMA-12M is the 121st flight of a Soyuz spacecraft since the first in 1967 and the 38th Soyuz mission to the ISS. The Soyuz is to remain docked to the space station to serve as an emergency escape vehicle until TMA-12M's scheduled return to Earth in September 2014.

After a successful launch on 25 March 2014, docking was scheduled to occur on 26 March via the relatively new six-hour duration orbital trajectory. In the event, one of the orbital burns scheduled to refine the trajectory did not occur as planned, due to an attitude control problem in which the spacecraft was incorrectly oriented.[3] The rendezvous phase was subsequently replanned to the formerly-used two-day trajectory. Accordingly, TMA-12M arrived at the ISS on 27 March.[4][5]

Crew[edit]

Position[6] Crew Member
Commander Aleksandr Skvortsov, RSA
Expedition 39
Second spaceflight
Flight Engineer 1 Oleg Artemyev, RSA
Expedition 39
First spaceflight
Flight Engineer 2 Steven R. Swanson, NASA
Expedition 39
Third spaceflight

Backup crew[edit]

Position[7] Crew Member
Commander Aleksandr Samokutyayev, RSA
Flight Engineer 1 Yelena Serova, RSA
Flight Engineer 2 Barry E. Wilmore, NASA

Mission highlights[edit]

Launch[edit]

Soyuz TMA-12M successfully launched aboard a Soyuz-FG rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 21:17 UTC on Tuesday, 25 March 2014 (3:17 AM Wednesday 26 March local time). Approximately nine minutes later, the spacecraft reached low Earth orbit.[8][9]

Because of the nighttime launch and the fact that the International Space Station was orbiting over Baikonur at the time of lift-off, the launch of TMA-12M was visible from the ISS and NASA astronaut Richard Mastracchio was able to take a photograph of the view (see below in gallery).[4]

Rendezvous and docking[edit]

Originally, TMA-12M was scheduled to dock with the International Space Station's Poisk module at 03:04 UTC on 26 March 2014, with hatch opening scheduled for 04:45 UTC. The spacecraft was not able to perform the third course-correction successfully, however, and docking was rescheduled for Thursday, 27 March at 23:58 UTC at the earliest. The approach and docking phase of the mission was reverted to the previous two-day profile used in Soyuz flights before Soyuz TMA-08M, leaving the possibility of updating the mission profile after the nature of the issue was fully known. Initially, flight controllers suspected it was an issue with the attitude (orientation) control system.[4][5] According to flight controllers, the crew was not in any danger and ample supplies were on board the Soyuz for the modified flight profile.[10]

On 26 March, the first two maneuvers of the revised 34-orbit rendezvous plan occurred without incident, with docking scheduled for 27 March, although engineers had yet to determine the exact cause of the initial failure.[11] Ultimately, the remainder of the rendezvous was nominal and TMA-12M successfully docked with the ISS at 23:53 UTC on 27 March, five minutes ahead of the rescheduled time, with hatch opening between the two spacecraft occurring at 02:35 UTC on 28 March.[2][12]

Upon their arrival, Skvortsov, Artemyev and Swanson joined the crew of Expedition 39, as part of which they are to remain until they transfer to the crew of Expedition 40 after the planned May 2014 departure of Soyuz TMA-11M. The crew members of TMA-12M are scheduled remain aboard the ISS until September 2014, when the spacecraft is slated to undock and return to Earth.[13][9]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "NASA Consolidated Launch Schedule". NASA. Retrieved 13 March 2014. 
  2. ^ a b Clark, Stephen. "Soyuz TMA-12M Mission Status Center". Spaceflight Now. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "Soyuz TMA-12M docking delayed following problematic burn". NASAspaceflight.com. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 27 March 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c "Expedition 39/40 Trio’s Arrival at Space Station Delayed". NASA. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  5. ^ a b Boyle, Alan (26 March 2014). "Engine Snag Forces Two-Day Delay in Space Station Arrival". NBC News. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst to fly to Space Station in 2014". ESA. Retrieved 28 September 2011. 
  7. ^ astronaut.ru (2013). "Орбитальные полёты". 
  8. ^ "Coverage Set for Next Space Station Crew Launch". NASA. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  9. ^ a b Bergin, Chris; Harding, Pete (25 March 2014). "Another trio set sail for the ISS onboard Soyuz TMA-12M". NASA Spaceflight. Retrieved 25 March 2014. 
  10. ^ Harwood, William (26 March 2014). "Soyuz sets off after station; rendezvous snag delays docking". CBS News. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  11. ^ Harwood, William (26 March 2014). "Soyuz on track for revised two-day station rendezvous". CBS News. Retrieved 26 March 2014. 
  12. ^ "NASA TV to Air Arrival of New Space Station Crew Thursday". NASA. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 28 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Expedition39/40 Trio Launches to Complete Crew". NASA. 25 March 2014. Retrieved 25 March 2014.