Category Manned Spaceflight Log II—2006-2012


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


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.


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.


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)


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


• 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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


D. J. Shayler and M. D. Shayler, Manned Spaceflight LogII—2006-2012, Springer Praxis Books 158, 213

DOl 10.1007/978-1-4614-4577-7_4, © Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013




Подпись: International designator Launched Launch site Landed Landing site Launch vehicle Duration Call sign Objective 2011-008A

February 24, 2011

LC39A, KSC, Florida, U. S.A.

March 9, 2011

Runway 15, Shuttle Landing Facility, KSC, Florida, U. S.A.

OV-103 Discovery/ET-137/SRBs BI-144/SSME: #1 2044,

#2 2048, #3 2058

12da 19h 3min 51 s


ISS flight ULF-5

Flight crew

LINDSEY, Steven Wayne, 50, USAF, NASA commander, fifth mission Previous missions: STS-87 (1997), STS-95 (1998), STS-104 (2001), STS 121 (2008) BOE, Eric Allen, 46, USAF, NASA pilot DREW Jr., Benjamin Alvin, 48, civilian, NASA mission specialist 1, second mission

Previous mission: STS-118 (2007)

BOWEN, Steven George, USN, NASA mission specialist 2, third mission Previous missions’. STS-126 (2008), STS-132 (2010)

BARRATT, Michael Reed, civilian, NASA mission specialist 3, second mission Previous mission: Soyuz TMA-14/ISS-19/20 (2009)

STOTT, Nicole Maria Passano, 48, civilian, NASA mission specialist 4, second mission

Previous mission: STS-128/129/ISS-20/21 (2009)

Flight log

When this crew was named, they were also announced as the final Shuttle crew. At the time, this was indeed planned as the final Shuttle mission, manifested to fly after STS-134. However, as had been the way of the Shuttle program since its inception, the manifest changed and the flight sequence altered. The main payload for STS-134 was delayed and the mission slipped in the launch schedule to fly after STS-133. Then STS-135 was added to the manifest as the new final Shuttle mission. The change in flight sequence was not the only one, as there was also a milestone alteration to the crew. In January 2011, mission specialist Tim Kopra was injured in an off-duty bicycle accident and his lengthy recovery saw Steve Bowen take his place on the mission. Bowen thus became the first (and only)


The newly attached Permanent Multipurpose Module (PMM) and a docked Soyuz are featured in this image.

NASA astronaut to fly back-to-back Shuttle missions, having just completed a flight as mission specialist on STS-132.

Aboard Discovery for its final voyage was the Leonardo Multi-Purpose Logistics Module (MPLM), which had been converted into the Permanent Multi­purpose Module (PMM) that would be attached to the station as an additional storage facility. Previously, MPLMs were returned back to Earth in the Shuttle payload bay full of unwanted equipment and trash; but, with volume at a premium on station, it had been decided to convert one of the three available MPLMs for permanent attachment. The Shuttle’s cargo also included the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier 4, which was filled with equipment and spares. Among the delivered cargo was the Robonaut R2 humanoid robot, which was to be evaluated inside the station for its potential as a support for future EYAs or for activities outside the station that were potentially risky or inaccessible for an astronaut in a pressure suit. Reports suggested that later variants of the Robonaut could be used to support future operations on the Moon, at Mars, or the asteroids.

Discovery was rolled over to the YAB on September 9, 2010 and mated with the ET two days later. Discovery’s final rollout to the launchpad occurred on September 20, with a planned launch for the end of October. However, problems with a leak in the Orbital Maneuvering System (OMS), followed by a main engine controller problem and a leak from a ground umbilical plate pushed the mission into 2011.

Prelaunch preparations were blighted with niggling problems, especially with the ET, where inner stringers had to be strengthened. Things did not bode well when further leaks were found in the tank’s insulation and a seal had to be replaced. A loose screw in an inspection tool caused it to fall on to the ET and it was thought that another delay would ensue. Fortunately no serious damage was found and processing continued without further problems. Another issue, however, was the upcoming launch and docking of ATV-2 with the station and the launch of an ELV (Delta IV) from the Cape. To prevent these conflicts, a 24 h launch slip was proposed for STS-133, to allow time to dock the ATV with the station and still allow for the flight rule of 72 hours between station dockings. However, a slip on the ATV launch moved the Shuttle docking closer again, so NASA decided to return to the original schedule for the Shuttle—launching just 6 hours after the ATV docked with the space station. The scheduled date to launch the Delta, March 11, would require the Shuttle to land by March 10. This still allowed the mission plan, with a landing at the Cape planned for either March 8 or 9 and a 2-day contingency for safety. Launching vehicles into space, bringing them together in orbit, and returning them home again is never straightforward.

The ascent to orbit occurred without incident on February 24, and over the next two days the crew checked the orbiter’s heat shield and EVA equipment. Following the backflip for further heat shield inspection by the station crew, Discovery docked on February 26 at the Harmony module. Within 2 hours, the internal hatches were open and the combined crew of 12 astronauts and cosmo­nauts completed the ceremonial greetings before getting straight down to the joint work program.

Another space first for this mission was the combined docking of all available resupply craft at the station at the same time—Shuttle, Progress, Soyuz, ATV, and the recently arrived Japanese HTV—something that would not be achieved again. A planned fly-around of the new Soyuz TMA-M was canceled by the Russians as an unnecessary risk for the new spacecraft on its maiden flight, a safety issue agreed to by both the American and Russian partners.

From inside the docked vehicles, the astronauts used the Shuttle RMS and station robotic arm to move the ELC-4 across to the truss structure on February 24 for unloading at a later date. There were two EVAs (totaling 12 h 48 min) com­pleted during this mission, by Drew and Bowen.

The first EVA (February 28, 6h 34 min) featured the installation of a backup power cable between the Unity and Tranquility nodes. The two astronauts also moved the now redundant failed 800 lb (362.88 kg) ammonia pump to the External Stowage Platform-2 for return to Earth (possibly during the STS-135 flight at this point) for postflight analysis and determination of its unexpected and unexplained July 2010 failure. The astronauts also installed a Japanese education exposure experiment that would be retrieved on the very next EVA.

Between EVAs, on March 1, the PMM was moved to its permanent position on the Earth-facing (nadir) port on Unity. Protection shields had been fitted to its exterior to ensure it would endure at least 10 years in orbit as part of the ISS. The second EVA (March 2, 6h 14 min) featured a range of maintenance tasks and the retrieval of the Japanese education exposure experiment.

During the docked phase, logistics transfers continued and the crew assisted in outfitting the station to expand its scientific operations. The Robonaut unit, which was still boxed up in foam packaging, raised a few smiles during the crew’s con­versation with U. S. President Barack Obama when Lindsey joked that the crew was sure that every now and again they could hear scratching from inside the crate! The crew also tested a SpaceX DragonEye sensor, essentially a Light Detec­tion and Ranging (LIDAR) system, designed to evaluate alternative technologies for use in future automated and manned spacecraft docking with the station.

The crew enjoyed a couple of days rest prior to undocking on March 6 after 7 days 23 hours 55 minutes of joint activities. The landing occurred during the night of March 9 and with it Discovery completed its final mission into space.

In a 27 yr career which began with the STS-41D mission during August and September 1984, the orbiter had logged 39 missions, completed 15,830 orbits, and flown 148,221,675 miles. A few hours after landing, Discovery was towed to the OPF for the final time, where it would be de-processed, decontaminated, and finally decommissioned before relocation to a museum for public display. Sadly, the final acts of the operational Shuttle era were being played out.


280th world manned space flight 163rd U. S. manned space flight 35th Shuttle ISS mission 133rd Shuttle flight 13 th Discovery ISS flight 39th and last Discovery flight First back-to-back Shuttle flight by an astronaut (Bowen) First time public helped to choose crew wake-up songs

The Boeing Company

Boeing is developing the Crew Space Transportation (CST-100) crew capsule, initially for launch on an Atlas V. The CST, which can carry a crew of seven, is a cone-shaped capsule resembling the Apollo Command Module, but with a dry­land recovery capability. This new Boeing design is larger than the vehicle which took American astronauts to the Moon between 1968 and 1972, to the Skylab space station in 1973, and docked with a Soviet Soyuz in 1975. However, when compared with the previously proposed Orion deep-space vehicle, the CST-100 is smaller in size.

On August 3, 2012, NASA announced the next step in the development of a new American manned spacecraft by revealing three new partnership agreements with SpaceX ($440 million), Boeing ($460 million), and Sierra Nevada ($212.5 million). As a direct result of Congressional restrictions, the competition was reduced from the original five companies competing for the contract to just two, with a third receiving half funds as an added insurance against unforeseen technical hurdles with either of the other two proposals. SpaceX and Boeing were to develop, test, and mature their designs through to the Critical Design Review (CDR) due in April 2014. This would keep the program on target for its first demonstration flights, which are expected to begin in 2016, achieving operational status from 2017 when the chosen vehicle could be flying crews to the ISS. NASA decided to continue to support the development of Sierra Nevada’s Dream Chaser concept as the backup option, and while the concept is not expected to participate in the CDR phase it will add further technical analysis of the design and concept of lifting body designs to the data already gathered over the previous 50 years.

As these programs are still in development and the details likely to change, it is too early to include specific information here. Hopefully, the vehicle that becomes America’s next operational manned spacecraft launching crews to the ISS will be in service in time for when the next edition of this log is published.

By 2020, it is also expected that the Boeing Orion spacecraft will be available for crew expeditions into deep space, although its final targets are far from certain at this point.


Flight crew

SAMOKUTYAEV, Alexander Mikhailovich 41, Russian Federation Air Force,

RSA Soyuz TMA commander/ISS-27/28 flight engineer

BORISENKO, Andrei Ivanovich, 46, civilian, RSA Soyuz TMA flight

engineer/ISS-27 flight engineer/ISS-28 commander

GARAN Jr., Ronald John, 49, USAF (Retd.), NASA Soyuz TMA and

ISS-27/28 flight engineer, second mission

Previous mission: STS-124 (2008)

Flight log

It was poignant that the next manned launch was Russian, as it occurred just eight days before the 50th anniversary of the world’s first manned space flight, by Yuri Gagarin in Vostok on April 12, 1961. The radio call sign for Soyuz TMA-21 became “Gagarin” in celebration of that historic event. It was also fitting that the crew emblem of this Russian/American crew featured the name of (Alan) Shepard, the first American in space (suborbital), just three weeks after Gagarin’s flight. It was an excellent way of linking the early pioneers to the modern day space explorers. The contrast between these two eras is readily apparent in the flight durations. The combined flights of Gagarin and Shepard logged just over 123 minutes in flight, whereas the TMA-21 crew were embarking on a 165-day mission, joining the crew that was already on the station when the “Gagarin” Soyuz left the pad.

The TMA-21 mission continued the uninterrupted science work on board the station, and would also be noted for receiving the final Shuttle missions on the manifest. In the Russian segment, the ISS-27/28 increment was planned to


Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Gagarin’s historic journey. Garan, Samokutyaev, and Borisenko pose outside their Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft, which bears the likeness of the first cosmonaut, and was given the call sign Gagarin in honor of the celebration. Photo credit: NASA/Victor Zelentsov.

conduct a program of 725 sessions covering 50 experiments, of which only three were new. To accomplish this, the Russian crew members were assigned 174 hours 25 minutes of experiment time during the ISS-27 phase and 359 hours 20 minutes under the ISS-28 program. Across in the American segment, there were a further 111 experiments, supported by a network of over 200 researchers around the world. NASA was sponsoring 73 of these experiments, with 22 under the auspices of the U. S. National Laboratory program and another 38 experiments sponsored by other partner agencies. These would take up over 540 hours of crew time.

This increment continued the rotational 3/6/3/6 crewing sequence of earlier expeditions. A three-person crew operated ISS-27 from March 16 to April 6, with the crew of six operating between May 7 and 24. The ISS-28 crew continued as a three-person occupation from May 24 to June 9, returning to a six-person crew between June 10 and September 16. This was of course very positive for the opera­tional side of the ISS program and the overall long-term expansion of human space exploration at large. However, for those who record the assignments and activities for each space explorer or expedition, it was becoming more difficult to keep track of individual records as one expedition blended into the next.

The April 7 docking with Poisk was followed three hours later by crew transfer into the main station compartments. The combined crew completed the usual welcome and safety briefings procedures, highlighted by speaking to their families at Mission Control in Korolev (Moscow). One amusing incident occurred when Garan’s wife reminded him that she was safely holding his credit card while he was “out of town”. The Soyuz was mothballed on April 7 and the crews got down to their well-orchestrated blend of science, maintenance, housekeeping, safety, and some time out for sleep and personal hygiene.

The first scheduled visitors, on STS-134, were delayed by technical problems preventing the launch, so the resident crew continued with their own program, demonstrating the flexibility of the timeline of long space flights. The Shuttle mission finally arrived on May 18 and this was followed by the departure of the TMA-20 crew, signaling the end of the ISS-27 expedition with their undocking on May 23. Handover of command between Kondratyev and Borisenko had taken place the day before.

The crew continued as a three-person residency until the arrival of the Soyuz TMA-02M on June 9. During the residency, the complex was reboosted several times using the engines on the ATV-2, to maintain its operational altitude while the science program continued on board the station. In July, the final Shuttle mission (STS-135) visited the station, marking the end of Shuttle operations. From this point, the Soyuz and Progress vehicles of Russia, Europe’s ATV, and Japan’s HTY would be the only operational resupply systems for the station. There were plans under way to launch new commercial vehicles to the complex, in order to test the feasibility of such systems for future use. It also emerged that detailed studies were under way to evaluate the use of the station up to 2028, if the partners could verify that the various components could work effectively and safely for that long.

On August 1, Samokutyaev and Volkov completed a 6h 23min EVA, deploy­ing scientific experiments and an experimental high-speed laser communication system outside the Russian segment. The two cosmonauts also removed a rendez­vous antenna which was no longer needed and deployed by hand a small, 571b (25.85 kg) ham radio satellite, as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of Gagarin’s flight in Vostok. A planned relocation of the Strela-1 (“Arrow-1”) crane was postponed until 2012. The final task was to have photographs taken, with the two men holding pictures of Gagarin, spacecraft designer Sergei Korolev, and space theorist Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and using the Earth as a backdrop. The three images had been displayed inside Zvezda for years and were returned there after their trip into open space.

Later that month, on August 24, station operations were dealt a blow with the loss of Progress M-12M some 5 minutes 25 seconds into the launch phase. The Soyuz-U (R-7) launch vehicle’s third stage ignited for 25 seconds but, following a loss of pressure, promptly shut down resulting in a loss of velocity and subsequent crash. This was the first ever loss of a Progress craft during launch since the series began back in 1978. On board the resupply craft was 5,8631b (2,659 kg) of sup­plies, propellant, and oxygen. Repercussions from this loss included delaying the landing of the TMA-21 crew by a week, but the TMA-02M crew would return as planned in mid-November. The next manned flight would have to be delayed from September 22 to late October or early November.

The Soyuz TMA had an on-orbit operational life (mothballed and docked with the ISS) of 210 days and there were more than enough supplies on board the station (thanks to the final Shuttle flights) to keep a crew sustained for over a year, so there was no immediate risk to the crew on board. Nevertheless, it was still a difficult time for the Russians, with talk of lack of confidence in their space hardware and manufacturing/processing systems and the potential prospect of abandoning the station by all crew members if the R-7 could not be recertified for operations. After the next two unmanned launches, one commercial and another Progress, this requalification would come during the ISS-29 crew duty shift; the ISS-28 crew was due to come home.

After the delay due to the loss of the Progress resupply craft, the handover of station command from Borisenko to Fossum took place on September 14. The TMA-21 crew returned to their Soyuz craft and closed the hatches late on the following day, with undocking occurring in the early hours of September 16. There was some anxiety in Russian Mission Control after the planned 3 min black­out period, when communications with the cosmonauts in the Descent Module could not be established. Fortunately, contact was soon restored and the trio landed safely, apparently unaware of any communication problems.

During the 165-day flight, the crew logged approximately 162 days on board the station, with 160 days as part of expeditions. This included 45 days as members of the ISS-27 phase and 115 days as the prime ISS-28 crew.


281st manned space flight 115th Russian manned space flight 108th manned Soyuz 21st manned Soyuz TMA 26th ISS Soyuz mission (26S)

27/28th ISS resident crew

Became the last crew to host a visiting Shuttle mission (STS-135)

Borisenko is accredited with being the 200th person to enter the ISS facility


Подпись: STS-134
Подпись: 2011-020A May 16, 2011 LC39A, KSC, Florida, U.S.A. June 1, 2011 Runway 15, KSC, Florida, U.S.A. OV-105 Endeavour/ET-122/SRB BI-145/SSME: #1 2059, #2 2061, #3 2057 15da 17h 38min 22s Endeavour ISS ULF-6

Flight crew

KELLY, Mark Ehward, USN, NASA commander, fourth mission Previous missions: STS-108 (2001), STS-121 (2006), STS-124 (2008) JOHNSON, Gregory Harold, USAF (Retd.), NASA pilot, second mission Previous mission: STS-123 (2008)

FINCKE, Edward Michael, USAF, NASA mission specialist 1, third mission Previous missions: Soyuz TMA-4/ISS-9 (2004), Soyuz TMA-14/ISS-18 (2008) VITTORI, Roberto, Italian Air Force, ESA mission specialist 2, third mission Previous missions: Soyuz TM-34 (2002), Soyuz TMA-6 (2005)

FEUSTEL, Andrew Jay, civilian, NASA mission specialist 3, second mission Previous mission: STS-125 (2009)

CHAMITOFF, Gregory Errol, civilian, NASA mission specialist 4, second mission

Previous mission: STS-124/126/ISS-17/18 (2008)

Flight log

The 25th mission of Endeavour, the last vehicle to join the fleet in 1992, was also to be its final space flight. Designated STS-134, this was a utilization and logistics mission that had originally been manifested as the final flight in the Shuttle program, until STS-135 was added. Endeavour’s swansong delivered the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer-2 (AMS-02) experiment to the space station. This is a particle physics detector designed to search for a range of unusual matter by measuring cosmic rays. It was planned that the gathered data would be used in research into the study of the formation of the universe, in the search for evidence of dark matter, strange matter, and antimatter. In addition to the AMS, Endeavour carried the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier-3 (ELC-3), a platform full of spares. The mission would also see the final scheduled EVAs by Shuttle crew members, ending an impressive 28 yr series of space walks by orbiter crews.


One of the first pictures of a Shuttle docked with the ISS from the perspective of a Soyuz spacecraft (TMA-20).

The original launch date in March was delayed due to technical issues. This was also compounded by the tragic shooting in Arizona of Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, the wife of mission commander Mark Kelly. The event also placed NASA in a difficult situation, if Kelly required more time with his wife as she recovered. Replacing a commander of a mission so close to launch had never occurred in previous missions, so veteran Shuttle commander Richard Sturckow was assigned as backup commander as a precaution. Gabrielle Gifford’s recovery was remarkable, to the point that she was able to attend the planned April 29 launch attempt. However, as a result of technical problems with an Auxiliary Power Unit on the Shuttle, the launch was canceled four hours prior to liftoff and postponed until May. Fortunately, Gifford was also able to make it to the Cape to witness the May 16 launch, unlike U. S. President Barrack Obama and his family, who had witnessed the April 29 abort, toured the center, and met with the Gifford’s but were unable to reschedule a visit for the May launch. The series of delays also meant that Mark Kelly would not join his twin brother Scott in orbit. Scott had been on the space station since the previous October and was the serving space station commander, but returned home before STS-134 launched.

Endeavour and its experienced crew of six left the pad at KSC for the final time on May 16, 2011, just over 50 years after Alan Shepard became the first

American in space on May 5, 1961, and nine days prior to the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s commitment to place Americans on the Moon by the end of 1969. Though the entire Endeavour crew consisted of space flight veterans, Fincke and Vittori were making their first flights on the Shuttle, having previously flown to the ISS atop Russian rockets aboard Soyuz spacecraft. Vittori became the final non-NASA astronaut to fly a Shuttle mission.

During the standard 2-day flight to the ISS, the Shuttle crew checked out the RMS and used it to examine the Thermal Protection System. Meanwhile, the EVA crew prepared the EVA suits and equipment. The crew was also scheduled to evaluate the Sensor Test of Orion Relative Navigation Risk Mitigation (STORRM) during their mission. This equipment evaluated sensor techniques for routine spacecraft docking with the ISS. Evaluations would be taken during ren­dezvous and docking and a later re-rendezvous with the station following the undocking towards the end of the mission.

Endeavour completed its 12th and final docking with the ISS on May 18 at PMA-2, with internal hatches opened just a few hours later. Following the usual welcoming ceremony and safety briefings by the resident station crew, the joint program of activities began. The ELC-3 pallet was transferred from the RMS to Canadarm2 some 5 hours after docking and was then installed on the P3 truss. Loaded on the pallet were two communication antennas, a high-pressure gas tank, and spare parts for the Dextre robotic device. The next day, the AMS-02 unit was transferred to the top of the S3 truss, where it is scheduled to remain to at least 2020. To avoid interference with other systems and storage platforms, the unit was installed at a 12° angle. The AMS science program is a global program involving 600 scientists and technicians from 56 institutions across 16 nations. The simpler AMS-01 flew on the Shuttle in June 1998, as part of the STS-91 payload.

During the mission, Italian astronaut Roberto Vittori carried out a program of six ASI-sponsored experiments under the DAMA Mission (named for the AMS search for dark matter). Vittori served as a test subject of two ESA experiments which studied possible changes to his body after the flight. This was part of a program of investigations in the fields of technology, nuclear power, biology, and materials. The Italian astronaut also assisted in the transfer of cargo into the station and unwanted material back into the orbiter.

The mission included four EVAs, totaling 28 h 33 min, shared between Feustel, Chamitoff, and Fincke. The first EVA (May 20, 6h 19 min) was conducted by Feustel and Chamitoff. They installed an ammonia jump cable that would connect the coolant loops of the station’s P3 and P4 segments, installed a cover on an SARJ and removed the MISSE 7A and 7B experiment packages from the Express Logistics Carrier-2, replacing them with the MISSE-8 experimental package. An external communication antenna was also installed on the Destiny Laboratory, to provide a link between the various ExPRESS Logistics Carriers mounted on the outside of the station. An issue with a carbon dioxide level sensor on Chamitoff’s suit caused concern in the latter stages of the EVA, with some tasks delayed to a subsequent space walk to maintain safety. Prior to this there had been no indication of a C02 problem, but the EVA ended a little earlier than planned and the issue did not reoccur.

The second EVA (May 22, 8h 7 min) by Feustel and Fincke featured a program of maintenance work. They refueled one of the station’s port side cooling loops with 51b (1.26 kg) of ammonia and also lubricated the port side SARJ and one of the “hands” on Dextre. Storage beams were fixed on the SI truss segment and a camera cover was installed on Dextre to end the space walk.

Between the second and third EVAs, the resident station crew was reduced from six to three with the departure of the ISS-27 crew in Soyuz TMA-20 on May 23. The delay in launching Endeavour, coupled with a delay in undocking the Soyuz, had created the unique situation of a Shuttle being docked with the station during the departure of a Soyuz crew. The remaining three TMA-21 crew members on the station now became the ISS-28 resident crew. As the TMA-20 retreated to about 600 ft (182.88 m) away from the Rassvet Module, Nespoli took a series of stunning digital images and video of Endeavour docked with the station from the viewing port in the Soyuz Orbital Module. At the same time, the whole station was rotated about 130°, which was a rare maneuver in itself, allowing the Italian astronaut some of the best views possible during a 30 min period.

Looking towards the future, the third EVA made use of a new EVA pre­breathe protocol, known as the In-Suit Light Exercise (ISLE). Instead of the normal Campout Pre-breathe Protocol System, where the astronauts breathe pure oxygen for 60 minutes in the airlock, this new technique saw the air pressure of the airlock lowered to 10.2 psi (703 hPa). The astronauts then put on their space suits and performed light exercise, before resting for an additional 50 minutes, breathing pure oxygen all the while prior to exiting the airlock to conduct the EVA.

Activities during EVA 3 (May 25, 6h 54 min) completed by Feustel and Fincke included an upgrade to Canadarm2, installing a power and data grapple feature on the Russian Zarya module that would enable the station arm to “walk” across to the Russian segment and conduct robotic operations there. This had not been possible before and would now extend the range of the station’s robotic arm system. The astronauts also installed additional cables between the American Unity module and the Russian Zarya module, which would provide backup power to the Russian segment. A series of photos were taken of the effects of the Zarya thrusters on the skin of the module, along with verbal information on the condition at various work sites which was relayed to the ground. The astronauts also completed the work postponed from the first EVA due to the suit malfunction.

The fourth and final EVA (May 27, 7h 24 min) by Fincke and Chamitoff was the last scheduled EVA by a Shuttle crew, ending a program which had started back in 1983 during STS-6. It had included 162 excursions, many of these essential for station assembly since 1998. Ironically, the final “Shuttle” EVA was not actually from a Shuttle Orbiter, but from the Quest airlock on ISS. The last EVAs directly from a Shuttle Orbiter had occurred in 2009 during the STS-125 Hubble Servicing Mission. Since 2001, most Shuttle crew EVAs had actually been from the Quest airlock on the station rather than through the middeck airlock/hatch system on the orbiter. For this final EVA, the astronauts assisted with the transfer of the 50 ft (15.24m) Orbiter Boom Sensor System (OBSS) from the orbiter across to the starboard truss and installed a new grappling system, extending the reach of the station’s robotic arm even farther. This EVA also saw station EVA operations pass the 1,000 h mark since assembly began in December 1998.

In three space walks, Fincke logged 22 hours 25 minutes, while Feustel accumulated 21 hours 10 minutes. Chamitoff recorded 13 hours 43 minutes in his two trips outside. The EVAs were followed by the completion of cargo transfers and logistics to and from the ISS.

The astronauts conducted a number of media and public outreach activities before undocking from the station on May 29, after 11 days 17 hours and 41 minutes attached to the complex. A fly-around and photo-documentation of the station’s exterior was followed by a final test of the STORRM rendezvous system from 1,044ft (318.21m) below and 300ft (91.44m) behind the station. When Endeavour landed at KSC, the youngest orbiter had completed the 25th mission of its career, having traveled 122,883,151 miles (19,771,898 km) in 4,677 orbits of Earth and 299 days in space. Endeavour would remain at the Cape for decommissioning before being dispatched to its new museum home.

With the installation of the AMS-2 payload, the official assembly complete point of the U. S. segment was met. In fact, most of the station was now complete, with only a couple of Russian modules and some desired large experiments to be launched. The station was no longer a construction site but a research facility. This was made possible by the series of Shuttle assembly missions since 1998 … and now there was only one left on the manifest.


282nd world manned space flight 164th U. S. manned space flight 36th Shuttle ISS mission 134 th Shuttle flight 25th and final flight of Endeavour 12th Endeavour ISS flight

Vittori first Italian ESA astronaut to fly on both Soyuz and Shuttle missions Last non-NASA astronaut to fly on a Shuttle mission (Vittori)


In 2004 a concept for a new program to send humans back to the Moon and out to Mars was announced by NASA as part of the Vision for Exploration. Under the label of the Constellation Program, a new Crew Exploration Vehicle was pro­posed for human crews to meet those objectives and eventually received the name Orion. In 2005 designs were sought from industry and in August 2006 Lockheed Martin Corporation won the contract. Development began on the spacecraft and program as the replacement for the Space Shuttle, but the change of administra­tion in the White House and a new President saw the cancellation of Constellation as originally envisaged. Orion was redesignated the Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle and is currently undergoing development for a wide range of missions to the Moon, Mars, and the asteroids as well as a backup vehicle for cargo and crews

An artist’s impression of the proposed Orion spacecraft.

A future Orion-class spacecraft docks with the ISS.

supporting ISS operations. Numerous ground and atmospheric tests and mock-ups have been developed and though it is expected that the first unmanned flight tests of the vehicle in space will commence around 2014, the first astronauts are not expected to fly on board the MPCV/Orion before 2020.