Category Manned Spaceflight Log II—2006-2012

SOYUZ TMA-17

Подпись: International designator Launched Launch site Landed Landing site Launch vehicle Duration Call sign Objectives 2009-074A

December 21, 2009 (Moscow time)

Pad 1, Site 5, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Republic of

Kazakhstan

June 2, 2010

East of the town of Dzhezkazgan, Republic of Kazakhstan

Soyuz-FG (serial number Ы5000-031),

Soyuz TMA (serial number 227)

163 da 5h 32 min 32 s Pulsar

ISS resident crew transport (2IS), ISS expedition crew 22/23

Flight Crew

KOTOV, Oleg Valeriyevich, 44, Russian Federation Air Force, RSA TMA commander, ISS-22 flight engineer/ISS-23 commander, second mission Previous mission: Soyuz TMA-10/ISS-15 (2007)

NOGUCHI, Soichi, 44, civilian (Japanese), JAXA TMA/ISS flight engineer, second mission

Previous mission: STS-114 (2005)

CREAMER, Timothy John, 50, U. S.A., NASA TMA/ISS flight engineer

Flight log

Arriving at the ISS on December 23, 2009 (Moscow time), this trio worked as ISS-22 flight engineers for the first part of their mission alongside Jeff Williams and Maxim Surayev. Then, on March 18, 2010, the undocking of the TMA-16 spacecraft signified the end of the ISS-22 phase and the commencement of the ISS-23 phase, although the formal change-of-command ceremony had taken place on March 17. Kotov’s crew then served as the three-person ISS-23 residency until they were joined by the TMA-18 crew on April 4, bringing the core crew back up to six persons. The ISS-22 residency continued until June 2, when they undocked from the station after formally handing over the prime role to the ISS-23 crew on May 31. In their 163-day space flight, the TMA-17 crew had resided on the station for 161 days. This was divided into an approximate 85-day tour on the ISS-21 phase and a further 75 days during the ISS-22 phase with just over a day as outgoing crew members.

The formal Russian segment research program for this crew encompassed 363 sessions on 42 experiments. Of these, only two were brand new, with the

image72

Wearing festive holiday hats Expedition 22 speak to officials from Russia, Japan, and the United States. (Front row) Flight engineer Maxim Surayev and commander Jeff Williams. (Back row) Oleg Kotov, Timothy Creamer, and Soichi Noguchi (all flight engineers).

remainder being continuations of previous experiments, reflecting the longevity of research on the station. In order to achieve this, mission planners had allocated 114 hours of experiment time over the duration of the ISS-23 residency. NASA announced that 45 experiments were being conducted in the U. S. segment. These encompassed 130 investigations from over 400 scientists across the globe. Eight of these experiments were part of the station’s role as a U. S. National Laboratory. There were also 55 experiments from ESA, CSA, and JAXA assigned to the expedition.

After only three weeks the trio of TMA-17 cosmonauts were joined by the rest of the ISS-22 resident crew, who arrived on Soyuz TMA-18. The very next day, STS-131 was launched, which docked at the Harmony Module on April 7. This Shuttle mission was a logistics resupply mission, during which the joint crews worked for the next 10 days to unload over 17,0001b (7,711.20 kg) of cargo for the station and complete four EVAs. With Caldwell-Dyson on the station and three women on the visiting Shuttle crew, a new record was set with four females in space at the same time and on the same vehicle.

When STS-131 departed, the station crew settled to their scientific, mainten­ance, and housekeeping routines. There was also a flurry of activity relating to the

Progress resupply craft at the station towards the end of April and into May. This included the departure of M-03M (35P) full of discarded items for atmospheric bum-up on April 22. There was also a 20 min 43 s burn of the Progress M-04M (36P) engines to boost the orbital altitude of the complex and, on May 1, the arrival of Progress M-05M (37P) which docked at Pirs. On May 12, the TMA-17 crew relocated their spacecraft in a 27 min flight from the nadir port of Zarya to the aft port of Zvezda, witnessed by the TMA-18 trio from inside the station.

Next for this busy expedition was the arrival of STS-132 on May 16 at the Harmony module, for a week of joint activities and three EVAs designed to support the installation of the Russian MRM-1 module called “Rassvet”. This was permanently installed on to the nadir port of Zarya with the aid of the Shuttle and the station’s robotic arms on May 18. Two days later, after leak checks, Kotov and Skvortsov entered the Rassvet module for the first time for an initial inspection.

STS-132 departed from the station on May 23 and for the next few days, the crew unpacked the Rassvet module. The TMA-17 crew also prepared their Soyuz for the descent. In order to provide the optimum conditions for the landing, the engines of Progress M-05M were fired for almost 10 minutes on May 26 to lower the orbit of the station by just 1 mile (1.60 km) to 214 miles (344.32 km). NASA called this maneuver a “de-boost”. It gave the option of a backup landing site if required.

On May 31, Kotov relinquished command of the station to his Russian colleague Alexander Skvortsov, and the following day the crew prepared their Soyuz TMA-17 for descent. Undocking occurred in the early hours of June 2 and just over three hours later, the Descent Module and crew were back on Earth. All three were in great condition after the mission. Noguchi stated that, compared with his previous brief stay on the station five years earlier during STS-114, it was fun to stay longer in a station which had doubled or tripled in size and habitable volume.

Milestones

272nd manned space flight 110th Russian manned space flight 103rd manned Soyuz flight 17th manned Soyuz TMA mission 21st ISS Soyuz mission (2IS)

22/23rd ISS resident crew

Final docking of a Soyuz at the nadir Zarya port

The first time four women are in space at same time (Caldwell-Dyson and three crew from STS-131)

Kornienko celebrates his 50th birthday and Noguchi his 45th birthday (both on April 15)

Skvortsov celebrates his 44th birthday (May 6)

Подпись:

Подпись: STS-130
Подпись: 2010-004A February 8, 2010 LC39A, KSC, Florida, U.S.A. February 21, 2010 Runway 15, Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC, Florida, U.S.A. OV-105 Endeavour/ET-134/SRB BI-141/SSME: #1 2059, #2 2061, #3 2057 13da 18h 6min 22s Endeavour ISS-20A (Node 3 Tranquility, Cupola)

Flight crew

ZAMKA, George David, 47, USMC, NASA commander, second mission Previous mission: STS-120 (2007)

VIRTS Jr., Terry Wayne, 41, USAF, NASA pilot

HIRE, Kathryn Patricia, 50, civilian, NASA, mission specialist 1,

second mission

Previous mission: STS-90 (1998)

ROBINSON, Stephen Kern, 54, civilian, NASA, mission specialist 2, fourth mission

Previous missions: STS-85 (1997), STS-95 (1998), STS-114 (2005) PATRICK, Nicholas James MacDonald, 45, civilian, NASA, mission specialist 3, second mission Previous mission: STS-116 (2006)

BEHNKEN, Robert Louis, 39, USAF, NASA, mission specialist 4, second mission

Previous mission: STS-123 (2008)

Flight log

Delivering a third connecting node called “Tranquility”, fitted out for additional habitation, plus the Cupola robotic control station with its seven-window pano­ramic view, the STS-130 mission would bring station construction up to 98% complete. Shuttle Endeavour was manifested for the mission, which was originally planned for December 2009, but was postponed until February 2010 following a series of delays.

Final launch preparations began in early October with the twin SRBs stacked on the Mobile Launch Platform (MLP). The ET was attached on November 23. Endeavour was processed in OPF Bay 2 before being rolled over to the VAB on

image73

The Tranquility Node 3 and Cupola in the payload bay of Endeavour prior to docking.

December 11 where it was mated with the twin SRB and ET. This would be the vehicle’s penultimate mission. The rollout to Pad 39A was delayed until early January to allow the processing staff to take a break over the Christmas and New Year holiday.

By late November the launch date had already been moved to February 7. This was to allow a few extra days margin in early February to launch the NASA Solar Science Mission on an Expendable Launch Vehicle (ELV). NASA also stated that it was preferable to have the next Russian Progress vehicle (M-4M, planned for a February 3 launch) already docked with the ISS when Endeavour arrived.

On January 6, 2010, Endeavour was rolled out to the pad. During the second week of January there was a small concern when the ammonia jumper hoses ruptured during preflight qualification tests. These pipes were to be used for con­necting Node 3 to Node 1, so clearly a solution had to be found quickly. To resolve this issue, the hoses were redesigned and four new ones constructed. Final qualification and acceptance tests were completed just days prior to launch.

In the event, the intended launch on February 7 was delayed for 24 hours due to weather concerns. The following day, Endeavour streaked into the night sky without further incident and proceeded smoothly to orbit. Over the next two days Endeavour chased the space complex, the crew gradually adjusting its orbit to match that of the station. During these two days, the crew checked out the tile protection using the RMS and prepared the EVA equipment. Endeavour safely docked with the station on February 9. Two hours later came the now familiar routine of hatch opening and crew ceremonies.

There were three EVAs during this mission, which totaled 18 hours 14 minutes. All three space walks were performed by Behnken and Patrick, with primary focus on the installation of Tranquility and the Cupola.

Using the Shuttle robotic arm, Tranquility Node 3 was removed from the payload bay of Endeavour and relocated to the left port side of Unity during February 12. The first EVA (February 12, 6h 32 min) was in support of the trans­fer operation, with both EVA astronauts working to attach electrical and ammonia cables to the new node. Later that day, members of the crew were able to enter the node from Unity for the first time, conducting preliminary checks of its internal structure, conditions, and systems.

The second EVA (February 13, 5 h 54min) continued the “plumbing in” of the Tranquility module. Using the newly redesigned ammonia coolant line to link Tranquility to the Destiny science laboratory the new module was hooked up to the station’s main coolant system. This EVA also included preparations to relocate the Cupola from its end berthing port location on Tranquility to the nadir (Earth­facing) location on the same node. This transfer was delayed slightly due to minor issues. Once resolved the unit was soon relocated, leaving the end port vacant for a day until PMA-3 was attached to the end of Tranquility. The mission was then extended to 14 days to allow more time for the work being conducted both inside and outside the station.

The third EVA (February 17, 5 h 48 min) was used both to relocate spares for the Dextre robotic arm system and to support the sequenced opening of the seven Cupola window covers. Each cover was tested in turn to confirm its smooth operation before the EVA crew returned inside.

On February 15, U. S. President Obama called the crews to congratulate them on their success. Five days later, Endeavour undocked from the station after 9 days 19 hours 48 minutes attached to the complex. The success of this mission meant that the station was now 98% complete by assembly, and 90% complete by mass. As Endeavour undocked from the station, weather forecasts for the landing day suggested that the return might have to be diverted, but the situation improved to allow the landing back in Florida as planned.

The two new units were the last major habitable modules in the U. S. segment, joining the Destiny laboratory, the Unity and Harmony Nodes, and the Quest airlock. Node 3 was named Tranquility as a result of a number of NASA nomi­nated options for an online public poll. Node 3 was European built and provided much needed additional room for station life support and environmental subsys­tems. Measuring 23 ft (7.01m) in length and 14.8 ft (4.51m) in diameter with a mass of 40,0001b (18,144kg), Tranquility replaced the canceled Habitation Module and offered additional living quarters for the expanded station resident crew. The unit provided additional room for air revitalization, oxygen regulation, and waste handling, with waste and hygiene equipment relocated from other parts

of the station. The Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill (COLBERT) exercise device would also be relocated into Tranquility, as would other equipment, freeing up useful volume in other parts of the station.

The Cupola was the other new module to be dehvered to the station. This long-planned unit had arrived at the Cape back in 2004. Its seven-window dome provided a 360° panoramic view of the station, the Earth, and space and was called the “Window on the World”. The design features one overhead and six side windows allowing the unit to serve as the station’s Control Center for robotic and EVA operations and as the focal point for handling the docking, relocation, and undocking of automated cargo craft.

Milestones

273rd manned space flight 160th U. S. manned space flight 130th Shuttle flight 24th flight of Endeavour 32nd Shuttle ISS flight Final nighttime launch of a Shuttle Mass of ISS grows to 1 million pounds (453,600 kg)

SPACE STATION OPERATIONS

The main focus for humans in space until at least 2020 will be in low Earth orbit and in operations associated with space stations; primarily the International Space Station but also the Chinese series of stations called Tiangong (“Heavenly Palace”). At both facilities, successive expeditions are expected to perform a wide range of experiments and research programs focusing attention towards our own planet Earth. Some will investigate the mysteries of the space environment, while others will develop the technologies to support operations for our eventual return to the Moon and on to Mars, the asteroids, or other strategic deep-space points. These could potentially lead to future manned explorations throughout our solar system later this century and into the next.

International Space Station operations

With the majority of the construction completed, the ISS has finally been able to become the leading scientific research facility it was always intended to be. Expedi­tions comprising up to six crew members are now utilizing the international facilities and resources to conduct a range of investigations in research fields that have been promoted as the reasons for the existence of large space stations for over 30 years.

The known crewing (as of October 31, 2012) for ISS operations through 2015 are presented in Table 5.1.

The subtle change from constructing the ISS to learning from it was not an overnight event. Indeed, “science” had been conducted on the facility almost from the start of operations, but it was not until the arrival of the U. S. laboratory Destiny in 2001 that “real” science on the ISS could begin. Gradually over the years (and over 30 expeditions), the science program has expanded, apart from the hiatus caused by the tragic loss of Columbia in 2003. The completion of the truss and solar array assembly, the arrival of the European and Japanese science facil­ities during 2008, and the increased permanent crew size from three to six the following year have enabled the scientific research program to reach its true poten­tial. Regular reports are posted on the internet from the partner agencies, detailing the latest daily operations and activities across the station. Among the most useful sites are

• http://www. nasa. gov/directorates/heo/reports/iss_reports/

(daily reports on ISS activities)

• http://www. esa. intlSPECIALSIColumbuslSEMBQ84S18H_0.html

(regular weekly reports on activities aboard the European Columbus laboratory)

• http: //kibo. jaxa. jp/en/experiment/

(latest news on activities on the Japanese Kibo laboratory)

• http: / /www. federalspace. ru/main. php? id= 2&nid= 19641

(daily updates on activities aboard the Russian Segment—in Russian).

The journey continues, launch of Soyuz TMA-06M in October 2012.

Spaceflight

Mission

Launch date

Landing date

Position

Prime crew

Agency

Nationality

Soyuz TMA-08M

ISS-35/36

Mar 2013

Sep 2013

Commander

Vinogradov, Pavel (ISS 36 Cdr)

RSA

Russian

Flight engineer

Misurkin, Alexander

RSA

Russian

Flight engineer

Cassidy, Christopher

NASA

American

Soyuz TMA-09M

ISS-36/37

May 2013

Nov 2013

Commander

Yurchikhin, Pavel (ISS 37 Cdr)

RSA

Russian

Flight engineer

Parmitano, Luca

ESA

Italian

Flight engineer

Nyberg, Karen

NASA

American

Shenzhou-10

Tiangong 1

Jun 2013

Jun 2013

Commander

?

China

Chinese

Flight engineer

?

China

Chinese

Mission engineer

?

China

Chinese

Soyuz TMA-10M

ISS-37/38

Sep 2013

Mar 2014

Commander

Kotov, Oleg (ISS 38 Cdr)

RSA

Russian

Flight engineer

Ryazansky, Sergei

RSA

Russian

Flight engineer

Hopkins, Michael

NASA

American

Soyuz TMA-11M

ISS-38/39

Nov 2013

May 2014

Commander

Tyurin, Mikhail

RSA

Russian

Flight engineer

Wakata, Koichi (ISS 39 Cdr)

JAXA

Japanese

Flight engineer

Mastracchio, Richard

NASA

American

Soyuz TMA-12M

ISS-39/40

Mar 2014

Sep 2014

Commander

Skvortsov, Alexander

RSA

Russian

Flight engineer

Artemyev, Oleg

RSA

Russian

Flight engineer

Swanson, Steven (ISS 40 Cdr)

NASA

American

Soyuz TMA-13M

ISS-40/41

May 2014

Nov 2014

Commander

Surayev, Maksim (ISS-41 Cdr)

RSA

Russian

Flight engineer

Gerst, Alexander

ESA

German

Flight engineer

Wiseman, Gregory

NASA

American

Soyuz TMA-14M

ISS-41/42

Sep 2014

Mar 2015

Commander

Samokutyayev, Alexandr

RSA

Russian

Flight engineer

Serova, Yelena

RSA

Russian

Flight engineer

Wilmore, Barry (ISS 42 Cdr)

NASA

American

Table 5.1. Future flight manifest.

270 The immediate future: 2012-2020

Europe’s Ariane launch vehicle with an ATV prepares to launch to the ISS with supplies.

Sadly, most of this work does not make the news outside of the partner agencies or “space”-dedicated websites, which makes informing the general public of what the crews are actually doing on the station more difficult. With the growth of social media applications there has been an increase of postings from the ISS over the past few years, but the days of the “right-stuff” headline-grabbing missions are long gone, at least for the foreseeable future.

No space flight can truly be termed “routine” and yet that is exactly what the crews on the ISS are attempting to establish—a regular, smooth running and productive scientific research program to provide genuine advances in space opera­tions, at least in Earth orbit. Quite simply, missions like those being conducted on the station just do not make major headlines, unless something goes wrong.

This “routine” aspect is dependent upon a regular supply of logistics from Earth. Since the retirement of the American Space Shuttle, this has become a little more difficult to achieve using only the smaller vehicles that remain available. The loss of the mass-carrying capability of the Shuttle (in particular for removing trash and redundant equipment from the station) will probably never be replaced in the lifetime of the ISS, even with the proposed new vehicles under consideration (see below). The venerable Russian Soyuz (in operational service since 1967) will con­tinue, in its latest TMA-M version, as the primary resident crew transport ferry and rescue vehicle, but has a relatively small capacity for the return of scientific payload from orbit. The TMA-M could be phased out by 2015 to be replaced by a new variant (Soyuz-MS) which is expected to have further systems upgrades but still resemble the basic Soyuz TMA craft. The unmanned Progress version (now flying as the Progress M-M series), which first flew in 1978 to Salyut 6, continues to provide a regular supply service, ferrying cargo to the station and disposing of trash in destructive atmospheric reentries.

Like the Progress, the European ATV and Japanese HTV unmanned resupply vehicles also have the capability to dispose of waste and unwanted hardware during a destructive reentry, but the return of samples and hardware to Earth is not currently available on these operational craft. This void may, at least partially, be filled by the SpaceX Dragon spacecraft, which, in 2012 completed a successful demonstration mission of its capability to fly to the ISS unmanned, dock and deliver supplies, and then return to an ocean recovery. This was a significant step towards replacing the Shuttle with a (partially) commercially funded vehicle.

There remain a few additional modules to be launched to the station for the Russian segment. These much delayed Russian modules are expected to include

• the Nauka (“Science”) Multipurpose Laboratory Module (replacing the Pirs module) and delivery of the European Robotic Arm (ERA); and

• the Nodal Module for the attachment of both the Scientific and Power Producing Module-1 and the Scientific and Power Producing Module-2.

It has been agreed by the international partners to continue flying expeditions to the ISS on Soyuz through to 2020, and possibly as long as 2028, as long as the hardware can support the program. If this happens, and there is no certainty that this will be possible, it would result in almost 30 years of continuous operational expedition activity, doubling the record established on Mir and setting the stage for the next step in orbital exploitation around our planet. Exactly what form that next step will take is also, at present, far from certain.

As this book was about to go to press news began to emerge about a new challenge to be attempted on the International Space Station. On October 5, 2012

NASA announced plans to launch in 2015 one American and one Russian (but without identifying them) on a 1 yr long expedition to the ISS, this being part of the plans to understand how humans adapt to long-duration spaceflight, with an eye to returning to the Moon or journeying out deeper into space. Using the ISS as a base for these experiments will help better prepare for such journeys. In July 2012 ISS veteran Peggy Whitson stepped down as Chief Astronaut to resume space station training and it was suggested she may be one of the NASA candidates for the yearlong mission.

The announcement of a two-person crew for the yearlong mission also generated media suggestions that an opportunity might arise for the third seat on Soyuz to be occupied by a space flight participant on a short-stay mission to the station. Of course, should this be the case, room would have to be made for the tourist on the returning Soyuz with only two outgoing resident crew members coming home instead of three as is now standard. Perhaps partial crew exchange would be possible, but this would alter the current crewing protocol we have seen since 2009 when the last space flight participant, Canadian Guy Laliberte, was launched to the station. On October 10 it was announced in Moscow that British classical crossover artist Sarah Brightman was a candidate for such a flight with Space Adventures, possibly representing UNESCO as an “artist for peace” and to continue her STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, Math) scholarship work for women. It will be interesting to see how the future of the Space Flight Partici­pant Program develops over the rest of this decade and how such flights will, or will not, feature in the longer term planning for the remainder of ISS operations.

On the same day of the yearlong mission announcement (October 5) JAXA astronaut Kimiya Yui had been selected by the Japanese space agency for the Expedition 44/45 mission. A fact overlooked by most of the media, he would serve as a flight rngineer for a 6-month residence commencing around June 2015 and would begin expedition training later that month.

Amidst all this speculation on November 26, 2012, it was announced that NASA had chosen Scott Kelly and Roscosmos had selected Mikhail Komiyenko for the year-long mission. Further crewing assignments through the 50th ISS expedition were expected during the early months of 2013.

SOYUZ TMA-18

Подпись: International designator Launched Launch site Landed Landing site Launch vehicle Duration Call sign Objectives 2010-11A April 2, 2010

Pad 1, Site 5, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Republic of

Kazakhstan

September 25, 2010

Southwest of Arkalyk, Republic of Kazakhstan Soyuz-FG (serial number Ю15000-028),

Soyuz TMA-18 (serial number 228)

176 da 1 h 18 min 38 s Utes (“Cliff”)

ISS resident crew transport (22S), ISS 23/24 resident crew

Flight Crew

SKVORTSOV, Aleksandr Aleksandrovich, 43, Russian Federation Air Force, RSA, Soyuz TMA commander, ISS-23 flight engineer, ISS-24 commander KORNIENKO. Mikhail Borisovich, 49, civilian, RSA, Soyuz TMA flight engineer, ISS 23/24 FE

CALDWELL DYSON, Tracy Ellen, 40, civilian, NASA Soyuz TMA flight engineer, ISS 23/24 flight engineer

Flight log

This trio of cosmonauts arrived at the ISS on April 4, 2010. They would serve as flight engineers on ISS-23 under Oleg Kotov as ISS commander until June 2, when the TMA-17 crew departed and their ISS-24 residency began under the command of Skvortsov. On June 18, they were joined on the ISS by the Soyuz TMA-19 crew who became the prime ISS-25 crew after this trio departed. By now, regular rota­tion of crews had become a feature of station operations and one result of its frequency and seemingly routine nature was that these activities dropped down the news-reporting pecking order outside of the space community.

This of course reflects a safe, regular, and consistent period of flight operations, but does not serve to promote the program to the outside world. It is in this situation that the official websites, new reports, and support information from the partner agencies have to champion the program, after such a long time in development and construction. Up on orbit, the promotion of the program through outreach and educational activities is as important as the baseline science, while the crews were also still hard at work finishing the assembly and completing the transformation of the station into the fully functioning research facility it was intended to be. This work has been aided by the growing phenomena of social

image74

Fresh supplies are always welcome on the ISS. Expedition 23 commander Kotov and flight engineer Tracy Caldwell Dyson enjoy receiving fresh fruit and vegetables during their residency.

media, in part thanks to the regular blogs, tweets, and messages from the crews on board the station.

During this residency, the crew continued the Russian science work begun by the earlier crews, with 363 planned sessions for 42 experiments, of which only two were new investigations. In the ISS-23 phase, over 114 hours of crew experiment time was manifested, with a further 20 hours 15 minutes planned during the ISS-24 phase. The change from assembly to research was becoming more evident with each new expedition, and the subtitle on the ISS-23/24 NASA Press Kit stated that this expedition would include “Science for Six”. Therefore, in the U. S. segment there would be 130 investigations from 45 new experiments, as well as those ongoing from earlier expeditions with 8 experiments specific to its role as a U. S. National Laboratory and a further 55 investigations from the international partner agencies.

After the docking at Poisk on April 4, the next couple of months proved to be busy prior to the departure of the ISS-22/23 crew in June and the commencement of the ISS-24 phase. Just three days after the TMA-18 crew had arrived at the station, STS-131 arrived aboard Discovery, which docked at the Harmony Node with more supplies. Then, in May STS-132 delivered the Russian Rassvet module.

With the science work, routine maintenance, and housekeeping, work associated with the Progress resupply craft, and the relocation of accumulated logistics, the new crew had plenty to keep them occupied during the first half of their residency. As a result, light duties were planned for the three crew members until the rest of the ISS-24 crew arrived.

Following the arrival of the TMA-19 crew, the two crews soon completed post-docking safety checks and drills and began an increased science program. On June 28, while the TMA-19 crew relocated their Soyuz from the aft part of Zvezda to the Rassvet module, the TMA-18 crew remained inside the station. On July 1, Progress M-04M was undocked from the station, to be replaced on July 4 by Progress M-06M. The 2-day delay in the docking was caused by a loss of a telemetry lock on M-06M, but its second approach occurred without incident.

Diversity featured in most of the routine operations on the station, with crews working in different modules to cope with the increased science research, mainten­ance, and housekeeping duties in the Russian and U. S. segments as well as in the Columbia and Kibo laboratories. On July 11, the crew recorded a partial solar eclipse across the world while continuing their preparations for a series of EYAs.

On July 16, Progress М-ОбМ completed a 17 min 45 s reboost to the ISS, increasing its altitude by 2.3 miles (3.07 km). This was necessary to provide the best conditions for docking the next Progress and to ensure the safe return of TMA-18. During July 15-24, the crews observed the 35th anniversary of the joint U. S./U. S.S. R. Apollo-Soyuz Test Project mission.

Three EYAs were planned in July and August, from both U. S. and Russian airlocks. The first EVA of the expedition from the Russian segment, by Yurchikhin and Kornienko, took place on July 27 from Pirs. During the 6h 42 min excursion, the cosmonauts replaced several items of equipment and visually inspected the exterior of the Russian segment.

The focus now switched to a series of EVAs from the U. S. segment by Wheelock and Caldwell. The first of these took place on August 7 and lasted a record 8 hours 3 minutes—the longest ISS-based EVA and the sixth longest space walk in history. Unfortunately, they failed in their primary goal to remove and replace the ammonia pump module, falling behind the timeline when one of the four coolant fines became stuck. They loosened the stuck valve, but could not totally disconnect the unit as they approached the end of the EVA. An issue with leaking ammonia crystals also required additional cleanup time, leading to the unexpected record EVA duration. Wheelock later admitted that this EVA was “a tough one”.

The next EVA (August 11, 7h 26 min) focused upon removal of the fluid coolant fine that had leaked during the first EVA. Using brute force, Wheelock closed and removed the fine safely. The pair then disconnected the defunct assembly from the truss and installed it on a payload bracket located on the Mobile Base Assembly. The third EVA (August 16, 7h 20 min) from Quest featured the installation of a spare ammonia pump module on the SI truss. The three U. S. segment EVAs totaled 22 hours 49 minutes, and with these excursions completed it was back to the science.

September saw the TMA-18 crew prepare for their return to Earth. A change – of-command ceremony was conducted on September 22, during which Skvortsov handed over command of the ISS to Doug Wheelock. After a short, 24 h delay due to an erroneous signal, Soyuz TMA-18 undocked on September 25. Following a nominal reentry, Soyuz TMA-18 landed some 3 hours 20 minutes after undock­ing from the station. During a mission of 176 days the crew had resided aboard the station for approximately 174 days. Two days were flown aboard the Soyuz getting to and from the facility. Of the 171 days in residency, 59 days were as part of the ISS-23 expedition and 112 days as the prime ISS-24 expedition. They also spent three days as the outgoing crew prior to undocking from the station.

Milestones

274th manned space flight 111th Russian manned space flight 104th manned Soyuz flight 18th manned Soyuz TMA mission 22nd ISS Soyuz mission (22S)

23/24th ISS resident crew

Record longest ISS-based EVA (August 7, 8 h 3 min)

Caldwell-Dyson celebrates her 41st birthday (August 14); this was her second birthday spent in space having marked her 38th birthday during STS-118 in 2007

Подпись:

Подпись: STS-131
Подпись: 2010-012A April 5, 2010 LC39A, KSC, Florida, U.S.A. April 20, 2010 Runway 33, Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC, Florida, U.S.A. OV-103 Discovery/ET-13 5/SRBs BI-142/SSME: #1 2045, #2 2060, #3 2054 15 da 2h 47 min 10 s Discovery ISS-19A (MPLM, LMC), ISS logistics resupply mission

Flight crew

POINDEXTER, Alan Goodwin, 48, USN, NASA commander, second mission Previous mission: STS-122 (2008)

DUTTON Jr., James Patrick, 41, USAF, NASA pilot MASTRACCHIO, Richard Alan, 50, civilian, NASA mission specialist 1, third mission

Previous missions’. STS-106 (2000), STS-118 (2007)

METCALF-LINDENBURGER, Dorothy Marie, 34, civilian, NASA mission specialist 2

WILSON, Stephanie Diana, 43, civilian, NASA mission specialist 3, third mission

Previous missions’. STS-121 (2006), STS-120 (2007)

YAMAZAKI, Naoko, 39, civilian (Japanese), JAXA mission specialist 4 ANDERSON, Clayton Conrad, 51, civilian, NASA mission specialist 5, second mission

Previous missions’. STS-117/ISS-15/16/STS-120 (2007)

Flight log

With only four or five manifested Shuttle flights to the ISS before their retirement in 2011, the chances of carrying large items to and from the station on the orbiter were diminishing rapidly. Though the majority of the main hardware had been delivered (certainly on the U. S. segment), there still remained a few bulky items to be launched. Time seemed to have flown by since the start of construction just under a dozen years previously and now the countdown to assembly completion was ticking away. One of the main objectives for the payload capacity in these few remaining missions was to stock up the station with supplies and spares. Another was to remove as much unwanted equipment, waste, discarded items, and experi-

image75

Loadmaster Naoko Yamazaki works in the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM) linked to the ISS during the Discovery mission.

 

ment results as possible to free up the internal volume of the station while the Shuttle’s large load capacity was still available. On this mission, therefore, Discov­ery was carrying the Leonardo Multipurpose Logistics Module (MPLM), which was filled with about 8 tons of supplies and hardware. It would return to Earth with valuable experiment results and samples, unwanted equipment, and as much trash as possible.

As with most previous flights, final preparations for the mission began with the arrival of Discovery back at KSC following its last mission. Two weeks after landing in California at the end of the STS-128 mission in September 2009, Discovery was returned to the Cape. Initial inspections conducted inside the OPF revealed relatively few issues that needed to be addressed in processing for the next mission. Having the MPLM as the primary payload made the preflight processing somewhat easier as well, as the logistics carrier would be installed in the payload bay when Discovery was on the pad.

The stacking of the twin SRBs began in early October and the ET had been mated with the boosters by late November. Everything was ready for the move of Discovery across to the VAB but the weather refused to play ball, with exception­ally cold temperatures being recorded. As a result, the move was delayed until February 22. The mated stack was then moved out to Pad 39A on March 3. The delay shifted the planned launch from March 18 to April 4 but this happened to be the Easter weekend. This was impractical for launch teams, so April 5 was chosen instead. This also gave the new residents on the station, who were sched­uled to arrive via Soyuz TMA-18 on April 4, additional time to acclimatize to their new home before the Shuttle arrived.

Launchpad preparations proceeded smoothly, with the MPLM placed on board Discovery on March 19. After an on-time launch on April 5, 2010, Discovery was back in orbit within 8 minutes to begin a 2-day chase to station. Docking occurred on April 7. When the hatches were opened and the familiar ceremonies observed, the mission was already adding new milestones to the history books. For the first time, four women were in space at the same time and now they were all aboard the same spacecraft. Two Japanese astronauts were also flying together for the first time as well. The orbiter crew also included the final rookies that would fly on a Shuttle mission—Metcalf-Lindenburger, Yamazaki, and Dutton.

Nine days of joint activities were planned following the docking. The MPLM was moved to the Earth-facing port on Harmony on April 7 for unloading. The loadmaster on the crew, in charge of moving the 17,0001b (7711.20 kg) of cargo between the spacecraft and the station, was Yamazaki. With cargo floating both ways, she would be kept very busy during her stay on board the station.

The major elements of cargo transferred were a Muscle Atrophy Research and Exercise System Rack, a Window Operational Research Facility, an ExPRESS Rack and Zero-G Storage Racks, Resupply Storage Racks, the final four resident crew sleeping quarters (intended for installation in Harmony), the third Minus Eighty Degree Laboratory Freezer, and equipment for a new water production system. Other, smaller items of equipment, supplies, and stores were also trans­ferred. With Leonardo emptied, the cargo intended for return to Earth was loaded back into the MPLM.

While work continued inside the station, the crew was also occupied outside, with Anderson and Mastracchio completing three EVAs totahng 20 hours 17 minutes. The first of these (April 9, 6h 27 min) began the work of exchanging an old Ammonia Tank Assembly (with a mass of 1,8001b or 816.48 kg) with a new unit. This took up most of the EVA timeline, but the two men worked efficiently and were able to also repair a Rate Gyro Assembly and retrieve a Material Experiment Exposure Device from the exterior of the Japanese module. The following day was a planned rest day, during which the crew were informed that their mission would be extended by 24 hours to facilitate the RMS inspection of the heat shield while docked with the station instead of after undocking. This was due to a failed Ku-band communication antenna on the orbiter.

The second EVA (April 11, 7 h 26 min) continued the work on the Ammonia Tank Assembly. Despite some difficulty with the installation of the hold-down bolts, the pair were able to complete most of their tasks, with just a few delayed to their third space walk. Electrical cables were connected but the ammonia and nitrogen lines were not. Two micromaterial debris shields were retrieved for analysis back on Earth.

The crew rest day of April 12 was also the 49th anniversary of Gagarin’s flight and the 29th anniversary of the first Shuttle flight. These events were noted in communication sessions with ground control centers, one of which featured a call from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. The final EVA (April 13, 6 h 24 min) began with the tasks carried over from EVA 2, plus the return of the old Ammonia Tank into the Shuttle’s payload bay. The crew then completed several smaller tasks before winding up the exterior activities for the mission.

In the closing four days of the docked phase, the joint crews completed the relocation of cargo, returning the refilled MPLM back into the payload bay on April 16. They also held press conferences and enjoyed a day off. The undocking on April 17, after 10 days 5 hours 8 minutes of joint operations, was followed shortly afterwards by the traditional fly-around maneuver before the orbiter departed from the vicinity of the orbital complex.

Discovery flew a descending node reentry on April 20 and, in the daylight hours, took the orbiter over most of the continental U. S.A. This profile had been flown only once before (on STS-120 in 2007) since the loss of Columbia in 2003, but it was a journey that afforded the flight deck crew a spectacular panorama as they approached the landing site in Florida.

Milestones

275th world manned space flight 161st U. S. manned space flight 33rd Shuttle ISS mission 131st Shuttle flight 38th Discovery flight 12th Discovery ISS flight 10 th and final round trip MPLM flight 7 th Leonardo MPLM flight First time three females fly on same Shuttle mission

First time four females in space at same time (with ISS resident crew member Caldwell-Dyson)

First time four females on the ISS at same time First time two JAXA astronauts in space at same time First time two JAXA astronauts on the ISS same time

Dutton, Metcalf-Lindburger, and Yamazaki become the final rookies to fly on a Shuttle

Подпись:

Подпись: STS-132
Подпись: 2010-019A May 14, 2010 LC39A, KSC, Florida, U.S.A. May 26, 2010 Runway 33, Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC, Florida, U.S.A. OV-104 Atlantis/ET-136/SRB BI-143/SSME: #1 2052, #2 2051, #3 2047 11 da 18 h 29 min 9 s Atlantis ISS-ULF4 (Russian Mini Research Module 1 (MRM1), ICC-VLD)

Flight crew

HAM, Kenneth Todd, 45, USN, NASA commander, second mission Previous mission: STS-124 (2008)

ANTONELLI, Dominic Anthony, 42, USN, NASA pilot, second mission Previous mission: STS-119 (2009)

REISMAN, Garrett Erin, 42, civilian, NASA mission specialist 1, second mission

Previous mission: STS-123/ISS-16/17/STS-124 (2008)

GOOD, Michael Timothy, 47, USAF, NASA mission specialist 2, second mission

Previous mission: STS-125 (2010)

BOWEN, Stephen George, 46, USN, NASA mission specialist 3, second mission Previous mission: STS-126 (2008)

SELLERS, Piers John, 55, civilian, NASA mission specialist 4, third mission Previous missions: STS-112 (2002), STS-121 (2006)

Flight log

The STS-132 mission was significant in that the primary payload was not American, but the Russian-built Mini Research Module-1 (MRM-1), also known as Rassvet (“Dawn”). This module was to be installed on to the lower (nadir, Earth-facing) port of Zarya. The secondary payload was the second Integrated Cargo Carrier (ICC), packed with further spare supplies and equipment.

Inside the YAB, the External Tank was attached to the twin SRBs on March 29. The rollover of Atlantis to the assembly building on April 13 recorded only 22 problems being tracked since the orbiter’s return from STS-129. The payload arrived at the pad inside the payload canister on April 15. Rollout to the pad had

image76

Rassvet (“Dawn”), the Russian-built Mini Research Module-1 (MRM-1), is seen (at right) attached to Zarya.

been scheduled for April 19, but bad weather delayed transfer until late on April 21, with the stack arriving after a 6.5 h journey in the early hours of April 22. The payload was installed in the cargo bay of the orbiter three days later.

Atlantis blasted olf from KSC on time with an all-veteran crew aboard. Just over eight minutes later, the flight entered orbit to begin the chase to station. The following day was taken up with an RMS inspection of the heat shield and preparing the EVA suits and equipment for the planned space walks. Prior to docking, the now traditional backflip maneuver was completed for visual checking and imagery by the station crew. Atlantis docked at the PMA-2 port of Harmony on May 16, less than a month after Discovery had departed at the end of mission STS-131. Two hours later, both crews were inside the station preparing to embark on a week of joint activities.

The Integrated Cargo Carrier was transferred to the station by Canadarm2 and placed on the Mobile Transporter. This unit was packed with spares and equipment for installation during the three EVAs. The unit also held spares designed to support the life of the station towards (and hopefully beyond) 2020. These included a spare Ku-band antenna and truss, six NiH batteries, and spare hardware components for the Dextre manipulator system.

The three EVAs logged 21 hours 20 minutes, with three astronauts (Reisman, Bowen, and Good) completing two space walks each. The first EVA was by Bowen and Reisman (May 17, 7h 25 min) and featured a number of hardware installations, including a space-to-ground Ku-band antenna on the station truss and a new tool platform for Dextre. There was time at the end of the EVA for a get-ahead task, with the crew loosening several bolts holding the batteries that would be exchanged over the next two space walks.

On May 18, the Rassvet module was grappled by the RMS, handed over to the space station RMS, and then attached permanently to the nadir port on Zarya. The Rassvet module features eight workstations inside its pressurized com­partment. It was designed for a variety of scientific experiment operations and research. Taking advantage of the payload and launch capacity of the Shuttle, the Rassvet had 1.5 tons of cargo, supplies, and scientific gear for relocation to the U. S. segment packed inside. The Russians reported that the scientific research to be conducted in the new module included developing technologies, biological sciences, fluid physics, and educational research.

The second EVA (May 19, 7h 9 min) was by Bowen and Good, who began by releasing a snagged cable on the Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS). The pair then began the exchange of five of the six batteries, a process known as “shepherding”, with the old batteries intended for return to Earth. The team then completed a couple of small chores before wrapping up their excursion. The next day, cosmonauts Kotov and Skvortsov opened the inner hatches and entered Rassvet for the first time.

The final EVA (May 21, 6h 46 min) by Good and Reisman was primarily devoted to completing the exchange of batteries. The original units had a design life of six and a half years but had been in operation for nine years. Prior to closing out the space walk, the astronauts left a Power Data Grapple Fixture in the Quest airlock and prepared the ICC for return to the payload bay of Atlantis, which occurred on May 22. In total, Bowen accumulated 14 hours 34 minutes in two space walks, Reisman logged 14 hours 11 minutes on his two EVAs, and Good completed his two excursions in 13 hours 55 minutes.

Following a couple of rest days, completion of the transfer of cargo signaled the end of joint work with the station crew. During their week of joint activities, the crews had moved over 2,8791b (1305.91 kg) of cargo into the station and some 8,2291b (3732.67 kg) back into Atlantis. The orbiter was undocked on May 23 after 7 days 0 hours 54 minutes. Following the normal fly-around to photograph the station and Shuttle, the two vehicles separated, allowing the Atlantis crew to prepare for the return home and the station crew to resume their science program.

On May 26, Atlantis swooped to a spectacular landing on Runway 33 at the Cape. Following the visit of Atlantis, the station had grown to a mass of 815,0001b (369,684kg) and was now 94% complete by volume and over 98% complete by mass.

Although this was originally to be the final flight of Atlantis, there were plans to prepare the orbiter to be a launch-on-need rescue vehicle (designated STS-335) for STS-134, then scheduled as the final Shuttle mission of the program. However, discussions were ongoing over using the additional hardware for one more flight (STS-13 5). NASA had already bought an extra ET and SRB and needed only Congressional agreement and funding to mount the extra mission.

Milestones

276th world manned space flight 162nd U. S. manned space flight 34th Shuttle ISS mission 132nd Shuttle flight 32nd Atlantis flight 11th Atlantis ISS flight

Only Russian ISS segment component launched by U. S. Shuttle

Tiangong operations

The news of a yearlong residency on the ISS came a few weeks after closer cooperation between Europe and China was reported. This could, it was sug­gested, develop into the possibility of an ESA astronaut flying aboard a Chinese spacecraft by 2020. Whether this would be to a Tiangong station or the ISS was not clear and remains an open issue to be decided as objections, technical issues, and logistics are debated in the coming years. With the expected reduction or demise of ISS operations after 2020 and the predicted increase in Chinese space station operations from that date, clearly the opportunity to continue and perhaps increase the rate of flying European astronauts on long-duration missions has a certain Eastern promise to it.

The Chinese have also indicated a desire to create their own large space station from which to expand their manned space flight operations, possibly looking towards the Moon and perhaps far beyond. Their first steps were com­pleted between 1999 and 2008 with Shenzhou operations, developing manned space flight capability and the infrastructure to support that effort in launch, orbital operations, and recovery. Their successful maiden flight of one person in 2003 drew upon the experiences (and particularly the design) of the Russian program, giving the Chinese a head start in developing their own program. They were to build upon this experience far quicker than either the Soviets or Americans had been able to in the 1960s. By 2008, the Chinese had demonstrated the capability of flying up to three crew members for several days, as well as EVA capability that could be used to support future space station operations. What had taken the Soviets eight missions to achieve with Vostok/Voskhod and the Americans around 10 missions with Mercury and Gemini, the Chinese accomplished in just three flights.

There were of course significant differences between the 1960s and the 2000s, most notably in the number of missions flown in the 1960s and what other achievements had been accomplished. The Soviets had flown 16 manned missions between April 1961 and June 1970, including the first man in space, first female, first group flight, first crew, first EVA, first manned docking and crew transfer (by EVA) and longest solo manned space flight at 18 days. In contrast, the Soviets had only achieved one manned docking and relatively little spacewalking experi­ence in comparison with the Americans during Gemini and Apollo. The five Apollo missions dispatched to the Moon between December 1968 and April 1970 added very little to the database of low Earth orbit operations, but volumes to explorations away from the planet. It is certain that the Chinese will have studied the lessons learned by the Americans during their unmanned precursor lunar mis­sions and the Apollo experience, and from the Soviet successes and setbacks in both their manned and unmanned lunar exploration program.

Although the Moon may indeed be a future target of Chinese space planners, the immediate focus for the next few years is the creation of a series of space stations leading to the establishment of a large complex. This will be similar to the gradual development of Soviet space station operations at Salyut, Mir, and finally the ISS, but again over a much shorter timescale and with far fewer missions. Once again, the Chinese will be learning from others in order to advance their own program without the need to mount unnecessary and expensive development missions. Official Chinese reports have stated that Tiangong-1 is intended as an experimental test bed, designed to develop the skills of rendezvous and docking that are essential to support a larger space station. The first Tiangong is expected to support three missions, one unmanned (Shenzhou 8 in 2011) and two manned (Shenzhou 9 in 2012 and Shenzhou 10 by 2013). Once these missions are com­pleted, the station will be de-orbited later in 2013, to be replaced by the much larger Tiangong-2 and Tiangong-3 laboratories.

According to the Chinese, Tiangong-2 will be able to support much more sophisticated experiments and research than its pioneering predecessor. Tiangong 3 will be a multimodule design (possibly resembling the Mir configuration) which will be resupplied by Progress-type unmanned freighters. The Chinese goal is to have a fully functional (ISS class) space station in orbit by 2020. If this does occur, it will have taken them less than 10 years, in comparison with the 40 yr period between the first Salyut and completion of the ISS!

SOYUZ TMA-19

Подпись: International designator Launched Launch site Landed Landing site Launch vehicle Duration Call sign Objective 2010-029A

June 16, 2010 (Moscow time)

Pad 1, Site 5, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Republic of

Kazakhstan

November 26, 2010

52 miles northeast of Arkalyk, Republic of Kazakhstan Soyuz-FG (serial number Ы5000-032),

Soyuz TMA-19 (serial number 229)

163 da 7h 10 min 47 s Olympus

ISS-24/25 resident crew transport (23S)

Flight Crew

YURCHIKHIN, Fyodor Nikolayevich, 51, civilian, RSA, Soyuz commander,

ISS flight engineer, third mission

Previous missions: STS-112 (2002), TMA-10 (2007)

WALKER, Shannon, 45, civilian, NASA, Soyuz/ISS flight engineer WHEELOCK, Douglas Harry, 50, NASA, Soyuz/ISS flight engineer, second mission

Previous mission: STS-120 (2007)

Flight log

On arrival at the station on TMA-19 on June 17, this crew served as flight engineers on ISS-24 before taking over as the prime core crew of ISS-25 on September 22, when Douglas Wheelock assumed ISS command from the outgoing Skvortsov. Under the ISS-25 residency, the crew continued the extensive scientific program as a three-person crew until early October, when the TMA-01M trio arrived to complete the ISS-25 complement. During their 163-day space odyssey, the TMA-19 crew would spend approximately 160 days aboard the station, 97 of them as members of the ISS-24 crew and then a further 63 in prime command of ISS-25.

The TMA-19 crew relocated their spacecraft at the station very early in the residency. The docking at the aft port of Zvezda on June 17 was followed just nine days later by the relocation of their Soyuz to the Rassvet module, allowing future arrivals to use the aft Service Module port. The 25 min operation was delayed by 75 minutes due to difficulties feathering the P4 truss solar wings to allow the smooth passage of the Soyuz. Following the docking, the crew inspected the docking cone of Rassvet to document any scuff marks as a result of the linkup. This was the first time a Soyuz had docked with the Rassvet module.

image77

Soyuz TMA-19 docks with the Rassvet MRM-1.

When the second half of the ISS-25 crew arrived in the first TMA-M vehicle, the science program returned to its full potential. As with all new crews arriving on the station, formalities and zero-g adaptation took a few days, but the science work had to continue, as did preparations for receiving the next Shuttle mission (STS-133). On October 18, the Russian members of the international crew took part in an all-Russian census, confirming they were Russian nationals. Yurchikhin, who had participated, during 2002, in a previous census from orbit, revealed that he also had Greek roots.

On October 20, the Progress M-07M engine fired for a 3 min 49 s burn to raise the orbital altitude of the complex by just 890 m (2920 ft), a small but essential alteration to assist with the upcoming docking of Progress M-08M and STS-133. Five days later, on October 25, Progress M-05M was undocked from the Pirs port and placed in a parking orbit until it reentered on November 15. On October 30, a new resupply craft, Progress M-08M, docked at Pirs. Aboard the new craft were 6,3201b (1,293.07 kg) of supplies and a few treats for the upcoming Halloween holiday.

On October 31, the 10th anniversary of the launch of the first resident crew to the station (ISS-1 aboard Soyuz TM-31) was observed, followed on November 2 by the anniversary of the docking and transfer of the first expedition into the station to start continuous occupation. In 10 years of successive crew exchanges, 24 resident crews comprising 196 crew members had logged 1.5 billion miles (2.415 billion km) or 57,361 manned orbits of Earth. NASA Administrator and former

Shuttle astronaut Charles Bolden Ukened the achievement to a modern day Star Trek.

With the news that Shuttle mission STS-133 had been delayed to the end of November at the earliest, the crew focused on preparing for a Russian section EVA, as well as maintaining the routine-but-necessary housekeeping and maintenance program that had kept the station operating successfully for 10 years.

On November 15, Yurchikhin and Skripochka conducted a 6h 27min EVA from the Pirs module wearing Orlan suits. A small workstation was installed on the starboard side of Zvezda and samples were taken from underneath the insula­tion covering on both Pirs and Zvezda for later analysis on Earth. A new materials experiment was deployed on Pirs and a robotic experiment was cleaned and removed for return inside the station. The cosmonauts found it difficult to remove some insulation on Rassvet that was blocking the installation of a TV camera, so the camera was returned to the station while the problem was evalu­ated. The day after the EVA saw the cosmonauts performing post-EVA maintenance on the suits, including drying them, performing systems checks, and discharging the suit batteries.

The return of the ISS-25 crew was scheduled four days earlier than planned due to an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Astana, Kazakhstan during the first two days in December. This would require clear air space in the vicinity, even from descending spacecraft! Anticipating their homecoming, Wheelock was looking forward to a shower not having had one since June. Walker was told, not very encouragingly, that a Soyuz landing was very similar to “a series of explosions followed by a car crash!” After conducting a “considerable amount of science” on their expedition, the TMA-19 crew’s stay on the station was coming to an end. Their Soyuz was checked over and Kelly officially took over command of the station on November 24, beginning the 26th expedition.

Late on November 25, the three returning crew members entered their Soyuz and closed the hatches. Undocking occurred on November 26 and they landed 3 hours 23 minutes later in Kazakhstan after a 163-day mission. In just over 10 years, a total of 25 expeditions had been completed successfully. Now, the first crew of the second decade of operations to occupy the station was on board, with several other crews in various stages of training across the globe.

Milestones

277th manned space ffight 112th Russian manned space flight 105th manned Soyuz flight 19th manned Soyuz TMA mission 23rd ISS Soyuz mission (23S)

24/25th ISS resident crew

100th launch dedicated to ISS operations since November 1998 Walker becomes first Houston, Texas, U. S.A. citizen in space First Soyuz docking with Rassvet module

First time two women were on main ISS resident crew (Walker and Caldwell Dyson)

Ten years of constant resident crew operations completed (November 2)

COMMERCIAL CARGO AND CREW DEVELOPMENT

Studies, plans, and discussions on what exactly would follow the Space Shuttle had circulated for years before the decision was finally made to retire the vehicles following the loss of Columbia in 2003. During these years the growth of commer­cial interest in developing a new launch system and spacecraft varied considerably but recently there have been a number of companies who have expressed interest in creating an American launch and crew/cargo transport system independent of NASA.

By 2010, in an effort to replace the Space Shuttle program for the transportation of crews and/or cargo to the ISS, NASA funded Space Act Agree­ments with five companies. The aim was to develop potential capabilities for launching American astronauts and supporting logistics into space from launch sites within the United States. A sixth company, ATK-EADS, was included as an unsolicited and unfunded proposal in May 2012. The development of a new American crew vehicle is conducted under NASA’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) Program.

The six were

• Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX)

• Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital)

• Blue Origin

• ATK-EADS

• Sierra Nevada Corporation, and

• The Boeing Company.

In addition, the American space agency signed agreements with Alliant Technologies Inc., Excalibur Almaz Inc., and United Launch Alliance, LLC for the exchange of technical information and expertise.

. SOYUZ TMA-M

Flight crew

KALERI, Aleksandr Yuriyevich, 54, civilian, RSA Soyuz TMA-M commander, ISS flight engineer, fifth mission

Previous missions-. Soyuz TM-14 (1992), Soyuz TM-24 (1996), Soyuz ТМ-30/ Mir-28 (2000), Soyuz TMA-3 (2003)

SKRIPOCHKA, Oleg Ivanovich, 40, civilian, RSA Soyuz TMA-M flight engineer, ISS flight engineer

KELLY, Scott Joseph, 46, USN, NASA ISS-25 flight engineer; ISS-26 commander, Soyuz TM-M flight engineer, third mission Previous missions-. STS-103 (1999), STS-118 (2007)

Flight log

On October 8, 2010 (Moscow time), a new, modified Soyuz TMA-M was launched on its first mission with a three-man crew. It docked with ISS at Poisk on October 10. Such was the confidence in the system and the internal system upgrades of Soyuz, an unmanned TMA-M mission was deemed unnecessary, although several systems had been test-flown on earlier unmanned Progress missions.

In command of the new vehicle was veteran Russian civilian engineer cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri, who had already logged 610 days in space on his three flights to Mir and an earlier mission to the ISS. He had worked on the development of the TMA-M upgrades which enabled him to take the coveted command of the inaugural mission. With him were rookie cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and veteran American Space Shuttle commander Scott Kelly, who became the first NASA pilot-astronaut to serve on an ISS residency crew since Ken Bowersox in 2003.

image78

NASA astronaut Scott Kelly is pictured inside the Soyuz TMA-M Descent Module on docking day.

The mission of TMA-M was, of course, to transport the next resident crew to and from the station and serve as a rescue vehicle should it be required, but this was also an important test flight of a new vehicle which would be the mainstay of Russian and ISS manned operations for some years to come. It was imperative that all went well in this maiden flight.

The external appearance of TMA-M was similar to earlier versions of the craft; the upgrades were mainly within the avionics of the spacecraft. A new, lighter, digital command and control system freed up mass to allow an increase in payload capacity by 1541b (69.85 kg). The old Argon analog computer system, used since 1974, was finally upgraded to the new TSVM-101 system, which meant that just one qualified pilot could now fly Soyuz rather than having two fully trained crew members, saving on training time. One-person Soyuz rescue (return) capability had been available for some years, of course, though it had never been called upon in flight.

After 45 days working as part of the ISS-25 crew, Kelly assumed command of the station on November 24, beginning the ISS-26 residency. For the next three weeks, they continued the science and maintenance programs as a three-person crew while awaiting the arrival of their colleagues on TMA-20. The new crew, who would take over as ISS-27 in the spring, arrived on December 17 and docked with the Rassvet module.

The station was reboosted on December 22, using the eight thrusters of the Progress M-07M for 21 minutes 11 seconds to raise the orbit of the complex by 2.6 miles (4.18 km) to 219 miles (352.37 km) in preparation for the arrival of the second Japanese unmanned resupply craft, HTV-2. On Christmas Eve, Skripochka celebrated his 41st birthday and the crew had a day off on Christmas Day. The closing days of the year were spent on a significant amount of preparation work for 2011 docking and joint flight operations, which would also see the retirement of the Space Shuttle.

The New Year arrived with shocking news. On January 8, U. S. Congress­woman Gabrielle Gifford was shot at a political rally in Tucson, Arizona. Six other people, including a 9-year-old girl, were fatally wounded. Gifford is the sister-in-law of Scott Kelly and her husband, Kelly’s twin brother Mark, was due to command STS-134. That mission was originally scheduled to fly to the station during March while Scott was aboard the station, making for a historic meeting in orbit. In memory of the victims one minute’s silence was held aboard the station and across the United States on January 10. It was also announced that proces­sing and payload delays would result in the STS-134 mission being postponed until April. The opportunity for the two brothers to meet aboard the space station was lost.

On January 21, Kondratyev and Skripochka conducted a Russian segment EVA (5h 23 min) from Pirs, installing an antenna on Zvezda as part of the Russian Radio Telescope System for Information Transfer which would allow radio technicians to send large files at 100 megacycles per second from computers on the station to Earth. They also removed a failed generator on the Expre-R camera from Zvezda and finally installed the docking camera on the outside of Rassvet.

Following the EVA, things became busier at the station, with operations to restock the station accelerating in lieu of the retirement of the Shuttle later in 2011. On January 24, Progress M-08M was undocked and this was soon followed by the arrival of the second Japanese HTV unmanned resupply craft, Kounotori 2 (“White Stork”). The HTV was grappled by Canadarm2 on January 27 and was initially attached to the nadir port on Harmony. The crew entered the module for the first time, wearing masks as a safety precaution for a new vehicle, on January 28. On board the HTV were 6,4551b (2,927.98 kg) of cargo. On January 30, Progress M-09M docked with the Pirs module bringing a further three tons of supplies. On February 4, another anniversary was marked in the program as Zarya, the original ISS element, completed 70,000 orbits of Earth since its launch on November 20, 1998.

A second EVA (February 16, 4h 5 min) by Kondratyev and Skripochka continued the installation of exterior experiments outside Zvezda and the retrieval of panels of exposed materials. The Japanese HTV was relocated from the nadir port of Harmony to the module’s zenith port on February 18 to make room for the forthcoming docking of Discovery (STS-133). Less than a week later, on

February 24, the second European unmanned resupply craft Johannes Kepler (ATV-2) docked with Zvezda’s aft port with a further 3,5001b (1,587.60 kg) of cargo aboard. While docked with the station for the next three months, it was planned to use the ATV for station reboost. This would also give the crew time to unload the supplies and utilize the extra volume, before filling it with unwanted material prior to undocking for destructive burn-up in the atmosphere.

Shuttle Discovery, flying STS-133, was the next arrival at the station, docking with the PMA-2 of Harmony on February 26 to deliver more cargo. The mission would also transfer the former MPLM Leonardo—now designated the Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM)—and the ExPRESS Logistic Carrier-4 (ELC-4) across to the station. The docking of Discovery created a unique moment in ISS history, as for the first time all the current resupply craft were docked with the space station—Soyuz, Progress, ATV, HTV, and the Space Shuttle. The ISS was at this point the biggest it had ever been. Unfortunately, a fly-around of one of the Soyuz spacecraft to photograph the historic linkup was not possible. The Rus­sians were rightly cautious in that the next planned departure vehicle—Soyuz TMA-M—was the inaugural flight of the vehicle and it was deemed too risky to violate safety protocols. It was hoped that an opportunity would arise for such a unique photograph before the Shuttle retired later in the summer. Discovery undocked on March 7.

On March 11, Kounotori was relocated again from the zenith side of Harmony back to the nadir side of the module. That same day, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck northern Japan. The Tsukuba Flight Control Center, some 30 miles (48.27 km) northeast of Tokyo, was shut down for 3 days. The center suffered a little damage but fortunately no casualties. Communication links with Houston were also disrupted, reducing regular operations on Kibo. Three JAXA controllers flew to the United States to establish temporary Kibo control in Houston. Until the communications finks could be fully restored, the HTV could not be unberthed, delaying its departure from the station. In the interim, the Japanese vehicle continued to be packed with additional unwanted material and trash. The HTV departed from ISS for its destructive atmospheric reentry on March 28.

On March 14, Kondratyev assumed command of the station for the ISS-27 phase from Kelly, effectively ending the ISS-26 prime residency after 110 days. Two days later, Soyuz TMA-M undocked from the ISS, landing later the same day on the snowy steppes of Kazakhstan. The Descent Module landed on its side and was dragged about 75 feet (22.86 m) by its recovery parachute. Despite this, it was a highly successful initial flight for the new vehicle.

Milestones

278th manned space flight 113th Russian manned space flight 106 th manned Soyuz flight 1st Soyuz TM-M mission 24th ISS Soyuz mission (24S)

25/26th ISS resident crew

Skripochka celebrate his 41st birthday (December 24)

First time all main station resupply craft are docked with the ISS at same time—Soyuz, Progress, Shuttle, ATY, and HTV

Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX)

SpaceX has developed its Dragon (cargo) vehicle to launch on their Falcon 9 launch vehicle. The company is also developing a manned version of the same vehicle. An unmanned Dragon cargo vehicle was successfully flown to the ISS in 2012, becoming the first commercial vehicle to attach itself to the ISS. The Dragon spacecraft can handle both pressurized (up to 14 m3 or 55 ft3) and unpressurized (up to 10 m3 or 39 ft3) payloads in a fully recoverable capsule with a combined capsule and support trunk up-mass of 2,7201b (6,000 kg) or 1,3601b (3,000 kg) for the down-mass of only the capsule. It has an impressive mission duration capabil­ity of between one week and two years. The first manned flight is planned for 2015 and the vehicle is designed to carry up to seven astronauts on a wide variety of missions.

Orbital Sciences Corporation (Orbital)

Orbital is developing an unmanned cargo vehicle called Cygnus that will be launched on an Antares launch vehicle. This will be an advanced maneuvering spacecraft designed to support cargo delivery services and is planned to fly eight missions over a 2yr period (currently 2013 to 2015), delivering approximately 20,000 kg (44,000 lb) of cargo to the ISS and then disposing of unwanted waste in a destructive reentry. Using proven technology, the vehicle comprises a common service module and a pressurized cargo module. The pressurized module is based on the Multi-Purpose Logistics Module developed by Thales Alenia Space.

SOYUZ TMA-20

Подпись: International designator Launched Launch site Landed Landing site Launch vehicle Duration Call sign Objective 2010-067A December 15, 2010

Pad 1, Site 5, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Republic of

Kazakhstan

May 24, 2011

Near town of Dzhezkazgan, Republic of Kazakhstan Soyuz-FG (serial number Ы5000-034),

Soyuz TMA (serial number 230)

159 da 8h 17min 15 s Yaryag

ISS resident crew transport ISS-26/27 (25S)

Flight crew

KONDRATYEV, Dmitri Yuriyevich, 41, Russian Federation Air Force, RSA Soyuz TMA commander, ISS-26 flight engineer, ISS-27 commander COLEMAN, Catherine Grace, 50, USAF (Retd.), NASA-Soyuz TMA and ISS-26/27 flight engineer, third mission Previous missions’. STS-73 (1995), STS-93 (1999)

NESPOLI, Paolo, 53, civilian (Italian), ESA-Soyuz TMA and ISS-26/27 flight engineer, second mission Previous mission: STS-120 (2007)

Flight log

The next resident crew to fly to the ISS launched to the station on one of the last TMA versions of the venerable Soyuz spacecraft. The trio was another truly inter­national crew. Commander of the Soyuz was rookie cosmonaut Kondratyev, who would serve as commander of ISS-27 after he and his two Shuttle veteran col­leagues served as flight engineers on ISS-26. Docking occurred on December 17 at the Rassvet module with the hatches opened three hours after docking for the crew to join their ISS-26 colleagues.

The Descent Module in which they had flown to the station was not the one they had planned to fly. The original Descent Module of TMA-20 was damaged in October 2009 during transportation to the Baikonur Cosmodrome from the Ener – giya factory where it had been fabricated. Fortunately, Soyuz is comprised of three separate but integrated elements and, as several other components were in various stages of preparation, the Descent Module planned for TMA-21 was avail­able as a replacement. The planned launch date only slipped by two days. This demonstrated the flexibility and versatility of both the Soyuz design and the Russian spacecraft processing system.

image79

Cosmonaut Dmitry Kondratyev conducts an EVA at the Russian segment.

The damage was apparently due to “sloppiness” on the part of the transport team, which resulted in serious damage to the transport container and a 1.5 mm displacement in the base of the Descent Module. This was sufficient to create a micro-fracture in the pressure compartment, which would need detailed examina­tion back at Energiya. It was not clear if this would result in taking the affected Descent Module out of the flight manifest permanently. Energiya reported that about 30 different elements of the TMA vehicle were in various stages of pro­duction at the time of the incident. Once the new element had been incorporated into the processing flow, preparations for the mission continued without further incident.

Once safely aboard the station, the new crew received their required safety and update briefings. They were given a light-duty weekend before joining their three colleagues in their six-person science program. There were now three cosmo­nauts working the Russian segment experiments, two Americans handling the U. S. segment, and Nespoli in Columbus (assisted by the Americans where necessary). The joint program for ISS-26/27 was stated to include 504 sessions of 41 experi­ments in the Russian segment, of which 7 were brand new investigations. There would be over 366 hours of work conducted during the ISS-26 phase. Over in the U. S. segment, the expedition would work on 111 experiments, of which 73 were from NASA. Of these, 22 came under the auspices of the National Laboratory status and a further 38 from other partner agencies. This entailed over 540 hours of planned crew time.

Following Christmas, New Year, and the Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 7, the crew prepared equipment for a Russian EVA on January 21. The 5 h 23 min EVA by Kondratyev and Skripochka saw them install and repair equip­ment. A second EVA was completed on February 16 lasting 4 hours 51 minutes during which the two cosmonauts installed Earth monitoring experiments to the exterior of Zvezda and removed two exposure panels from the same module and discarded a foot restraint. The two space walks logged 10 hours and 14 minutes of EVA time for the pair of cosmonauts.

The first weeks in the New Year were a busy time for the crew with the arrival of HTV-2, ATV-2, and STS-133, as well as departure and arrival of Progress craft. On March 14, Kondratyev assumed command of the ISS from Kelly. When the TMA-M crew departed on March 16, the Soyuz TMA-20 crew became the ISS-27 expedition, initially as a three-person residency. They would be joined by their three new colleagues on April 6, 2011 with the arrival of Soyuz TMA-21.

April saw much to celebrate on board the station. Nespoli celebrated his 54th birthday on April 6 and this was followed on April 12 by two important anniver­sary celebrations. The first was the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s historic first manned space flight and the second was the 30th anniversary of the first Shuttle mission. On April 17, new arrival Andrei Borisenko celebrated his 47th birthday on orbit. Yet another anniversary was celebrated on April 19 as the crew observed the 10th anniversary of the launch of the station’s robotic arm systems. This was also the 40th anniversary of the launch of Salyut 1, the world’s first space station, something that was overlooked somewhat by the world’s media. The TMA-20 mission was full of celebrations, and actually missed two as well. Coleman had turned 50 the day before launch (had the mission launched as planned she would have celebrated her birthday in orbit), and Kondratyev celebrated his 42nd birthday the day after landing.

On April 29, the STS-134 mission was scrubbed for about a month due to technical issues, which meant that it would arrive at the station towards the end of this residency. On May 3 came the sad news of the death, aged 78, of Nespoli’s mother Maria Motta, in Verano Brianza, northern Italy. The astronaut had been aware that his mother was ill and, as a mark of respect, the combined crew of six gathered the next day in the Cupola for a minute’s silence in her memory as they gazed out over the Earth below them. The STS-134 mission arrived at the station on May 18 and remained docked until May 30, delivering the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier-3 and Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-02. What was different on this mission was that the TMA-20 departed the station before the Shuttle, thus offering the opportunity for the Soyuz crew to photograph from a distance the almost complete complex with a Shuttle orbiter docked with it for the first time.

On May 22, Kondratyev passed the command of station to fellow cosmonaut Andrei Borisenko, formally ending the ISS-27 program which officially ceased with the undocking of TMA-20 two days later. During the fly-around, Nespoli took a series of stunning and unique photos of the ISS complex with the Soyuz TMA, Progress, ATV, and Endeavour docked to it. Never again would such a photo be possible. Only one mission remained on the Shuttle manifest and no Soyuz departures were planned during that flight.

It had been a busy expedition, reflecting the changes in the program as the final Shuttle missions arrived and new resupply craft were being introduced. The TMA-20 crew had spent over 157 days of their mission duration on board the station, with 87 days as part of the ISS-26 crew and about 71 days as lead ISS-27 crew.

Milestones

279th manned space flight 114th Russian manned space flight 107th manned Soyuz flight 20th manned Soyuz TMA mission 25th ISS Soyuz mission (25S)

26/27th ISS resident crew

Nespoli celebrates his 54th birthday (April 6)

Borisenko celebrates his 47th birthday (April 17)

Distant photography conducted of ISS with Shuttle and other current transport vehicles docked to it for the first and only time

Blue Origin

Blue Origin is developing a relatively secret crew transportation system to be launched initially on an Atlas V launch vehicle, although it is also developing its own reusable launch system.

ATK-EADS

This proposal was based upon utilizing a modified first stage of the Ariane V as a new second stage, with a Shuttle solid rocket motor as the first stage. Ariane V was to have been the launch vehicle for the canceled European Hermes mini­shuttle. This new design of launch vehicle has been named “Liberty” and would be used to launch a composite crew capsule.

Sierra Nevada Corporation

Sierra Nevada is developing a small lifting body-style crew vehicle called Dream Chaser also for launch on an Atlas V. This fourth-generation design of lifting body is based upon the NASA HL-20 design and is a fully reusable pressurized lifting body spacecraft. Capable of landing on a conventional runway, this design offers cross-range capability and reduced g-forces on descending occupants and payloads.