December 21, 2009 (Moscow time)
Pad 1, Site 5, Baikonur Cosmodrome, Republic of
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
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
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
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.
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)
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,
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)
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
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.
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)