FRIDAY, JUNE 18, 2010
If you missed watching Tuesday's docking or Thursday's launch, video coverage is archived for Spaceflight Now+Plus users to watch or download. See the full listing here
0325 GMT (11:25 p.m. EDT Thurs.)
Completing a two-day orbital rendezvous, a Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying a veteran cosmonaut and two NASA astronauts docked with the International Space Station's aft port Thursday, boosting the lab's crew back to six.
Read our full story.
0120 GMT (9:20 p.m. EDT Thurs.)
Welcome aboard! The newest residents are floating into the International Space Station from their Soyuz capsule for the formal ceremony. Also participating via a live communications linkup are the VIPs gathered on the balcony in Russia's mission control center outside Moscow.
The outpost's Expedition 24 crew is comprised of three Russians and three Americans. And it's the first time that an Expedition crew has included two women.
0101 GMT (9:01 p.m. EDT Thurs.)
The hatchway between the Soyuz spacecraft and the station was opened at 8:52 p.m. EDT following the successful completion of leak checks. The welcoming ceremony is expected to begin shortly when a live television downlink communications session starts.
THURSDAY, JUNE 17, 2010
2232 GMT (6:32 p.m. EDT)
The docking probe on the front of Soyuz has retracted, allowing the hooks and latches to close and form a seal between the capsule and station. Pressure and leak checks will be performed over the next orbit before the hatchway is opened for the crew to enter into the station later this evening.
2223 GMT (6:23 p.m. EDT)
The docking occurred as the space station flew over the Atlantic just off the coast of Argentina at an altitude of 222 miles.
Over the next few minutes, the Soyuz docking probe will retract to allow hooks and latches to bring the spacecraft to a firm seal with the station. Hatches between the two vehicles will be opened around 9:25 p.m. EDT.
2221 GMT (6:21 p.m. EDT)
DOCKING. The Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft has docked to the Zvezda module of the space station, delivering Doug Wheelock, Shannon Walker and Fyodor Yurchikhin to the international outpost.
The new Expedition 24 residents join commander Alexander Skvortsov and flight engineers Mikhail Kornienko and Tracy Caldwell Dyson. They have been aboard the station since April.
2220 GMT (6:20 p.m. EDT)
A steady, stable approach using Soyuz's automated rendezvous system continues.
2220 GMT (6:20 p.m. EDT)
About 60 feet to go.
2219 GMT (6:19 p.m. EDT)
The capsule remains on course and lined up for docking.
2219 GMT (6:19 p.m. EDT)
Now 80 feet and closing.
2218 GMT (6:18 p.m. EDT)
Inside 100 feet.
2217 GMT (6:17 p.m. EDT)
About 140 feet left to go.
2216 GMT (6:16 p.m. EDT)
The docking mechanism has been powered up.
2216 GMT (6:16 p.m. EDT)
Soyuz has closed to within 175 feet from the station.
2215 GMT (6:15 p.m. EDT)
The capsule is keeping a good alignment with the docking target on the station.
2214 GMT (6:14 p.m. EDT)
Range to docking inside 260 feet.
2213 GMT (6:13 p.m. EDT)
Now less than 400 feet to docking.
2213 GMT (6:13 p.m. EDT)
The Russian flight control team has given approval and the final approach has commenced.
2212 GMT (6:12 p.m. EDT)
The range between Soyuz and station is about 470 feet.
2210 GMT (6:10 p.m. EDT)
The capsule is completing a roll maneuver as part of the sequence to prepare for docking.
2209 GMT (6:09 p.m. EDT)
The Soyuz completed the flyaround to align with the docking port. It's now in the stationkeeping hold about 720 feet away while controllers verify all is in readiness for final approach.
2208 GMT (6:08 p.m. EDT)
About 840 feet separate the two spacecraft as the Soyuz continues its intercept.
2207 GMT (6:07 p.m. EDT)
At present, the Soyuz and station are flying over the southeastern Pacific. The docking is set to occur over the Atlantic, just off the southeastern coast of South America.
2205 GMT (6:05 p.m. EDT)
Soyuz is flying itself around the international outpost to get into the approach corridor leading to the Zvezda module's docking port.
2202 GMT (6:02 p.m. EDT)
The capsule is within 3,000 feet of the outpost now.
2200 GMT (6:00 p.m. EDT)
The Soyuz spacecraft is nearing the space station for docking a little less than 30 minutes from now at 6:25 p.m. EDT. You can watch live NASA Television coverage on the right-hand column of this page.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 16, 2010
The Soyuz spacecraft carrying three new residents for the space station is scheduled for docking Thursday evening at 6:25 p.m. EDT (2225 GMT).
The automated rendezvous sequence aboard the Russian-built crew transport capsule will begin about 4:06 p.m. EDT to control the activities via autopilot.
The day's first key engine firing is planned for 4:28 p.m. and another impulse is expected around 4:51 p.m. EDT, followed within minutes by activation of the Kurs rendezvous equipment on both the Soyuz and space station to guide the linkup.
The two spacecraft should be within 60 miles of each other by 5:12 p.m., closing to less than 10 miles by 5:37 p.m.
The television camera on the nose of Soyuz will be turned on at 5:45 p.m. to provide views of the docking.
A series of maneuvers between 5:53 and 6:00 p.m. will dramatically slow the Soyuz's closure rate, ultimately leading to the spacecraft beginning a flyaround of the space station to align with the Zvezda service module's docking port.
After a stationkeeping hold by the Soyuz to ensure all is in readiness for docking, the spacecraft will commence final approach at 6:16 p.m. for docking about 9 minutes later. Soyuz commander Fyodor Yurchikhin will be standing by to take over manual flying of the spacecraft if required.
The linkup should occur at 6:25 p.m. EDT, a few minutes after orbital sunset.
The hatch opening and welcoming ceremony aboard the station is expected around 9:25 p.m. EDT.
2150 GMT (5:50 p.m. EDT)
To recap, it was succesful flight by the Soyuz vehicle today beginning with launch at 5:35 p.m. EDT (2235 GMT). The spacecraft reached orbit as planned 9 minutes later.
Here's a look at the timeline for the Soyuz's trek to the space station (all times EDT):
05:44:04 PM...Orbital Insertion
09:32:31 PM...DV1 (33.1 mph)
10:04:32 PM...DV2 (18 mph)
06:06:51 PM...DV3 (4.5 mph)
03:00:00 PM...US to Russian attitude control handover
03:17:00 PM...ISS maneuvers to docking attitude
04:06:09 PM...AR&D Automated Rendezvous start
04:28:13 PM...AR&D DV4/Impulse 1 (49.7 mph)
04:51:17 PM...AR&D Impulse 2 (3.2 mph)
04:52:30 PM...Soyuz Kurs-A activation
04:54:30 PM...SM Kurs-P activation
05:12:09 PM...Range = 62 miles: Soyuz VHF-2 link
05:12:37 PM...AR&D DV5/Impulse 3 (57.3 mph)
05:16:39 PM...Russian ground station acquisition
05:16:49 PM...Range = 49.7 miles: Valid Kurs-P range data
05:37:49 PM...Range = 9.3 miles: Kurs-A & Kurs-P test
05:39:31 PM...Russian ground station loss of signal
05:45:09 PM...Range = 5 miles: Soyuz TV activation
05:53:13 PM...AR&D Impulse 4 (14.6 mph)
05:56:09 PM...AR&D Ballistic Targeting Point
05:58:10 PM...AR&D Impulse 5 (15.2 mph)
06:00:54 PM...AR&D Impulse 6 (3.8 mph)
06:02:52 PM...AR&D Flyaround mode start
06:08:19 PM...AR&D Stationkeeping start
06:16:00 PM...AR&D Final Approach start
06:18:00 PM...ISS inertial snap-and-hold window open
06:25:00 PM...ISS inertial snap-and-hold window close
06:45:00 PM...Soyuz hooks closed: ISS maneuvers to LVLH
06:49:43 PM...Daily Orbit 2 RGS AOS
07:13:00 PM...Daily Orbit 2 RGS LOS
07:45:00 PM...Russian to US attitude control handover
2146 GMT (5:46 p.m. EDT)
Wheelock, Walker and Yurchikhin have arrived in orbit following launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
Activities upcoming over the next few hours include opening the hatchway into the capsule's living compartment where the crew can remove their spacesuits, pressurization of the Soyuz propellant tanks and two orbit adjustment maneuvers. The trio of crewmates should begin their sleep period around 1:15 a.m. EDT.
That pair of maneuvers later tonight will be followed by another one Wednesday to put Soyuz on the proper trajectory for Thursday's rendezvous and docking with the space station.
2145 GMT (5:45 p.m. EDT)
The craft is completing a programmed sequence to deploy the power-generating solar arrays, as well as antennas for navigational and communication systems.
2144 GMT (5:44 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 9 minutes. CAPSULE SEPARATION! The Soyuz spacecraft is flying free after the upper stage finished its engine firing and then separated away. The capsule is in pursuit of the International Space Station for a planned docking around 6:25 p.m. EDT on Thursday.
2143 GMT (5:43 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 8 minutes. About a minute remains in the propulsion by the upper stage. The motor consumes kerosene and liquid oxygen just like the Soyuz rocket's other powerplants.
2142 GMT (5:42 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 7 minutes, 30 seconds. The crew reports all remains normal aboard the spacecraft.
2142 GMT (5:42 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 7 minutes. The four-nozzle engine of the upper stage continues to burn.
2141 GMT (5:41 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 6 minutes, 30 seconds. The space station's current residents -- commander Alexander Skvortsov, cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko and American astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dyson -- are watching a live stream of the launch being uplinked to the outpost.
2141 GMT (5:41 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 6 minutes. Soyuz's upper stage is firing to propel the spacecraft into a stable orbit around Earth.
2140 GMT (5:40 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 5 minutes. The core stage of the Soyuz rocket has shut down and separated, leaving the upper stage to complete the job of injecting the Soyuz capsule into orbit.
2139 GMT (5:39 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 4 minutes. The core motor continues to fire on its propellant mixture of kerosene fuel and supercold liquid oxygen.
2138 GMT (5:38 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 3 minutes. The safety escape tower and launch shroud have been jettisoned from the atop the Soyuz capsule.
2137 GMT (5:37 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 2 minutes, 15 seconds. The four strap-on boosters clustered around the Soyuz rocket's main stage have burned out and separated. The core motor continues to fire.
2136 GMT (5:36 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 60 seconds. Good performance one minute into this ascent for the Soyuz rocket and its three-person crew from the Kazakh launch base. Flight engineer Shannon Walker is strapped into the left-hand seat, Fyodor Yurchikhin is in the center seat for his role as the Soyuz commander and NASA astronaut Doug Wheelock is in the right-hand seat.
2135 GMT (5:35 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 30 seconds. The Soyuz is heading on course for a rendezvous with the space station 49 hours from now. The station currently is flying about 220 miles above the southern Atlantic Ocean.
2135:19 GMT (5:35:19 p.m. EDT)
LIFTOFF! Liftoff of the 100th rocket launch in support of the International Space Station!
2134:54 GMT (5:34:54 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 25 seconds. The first umbilical arm has separated from Soyuz. The second will retract in the next few seconds.
2134:19 GMT (5:34:19 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 1 minute and counting. The Soyuz has been placed on internal power.
2133:19 GMT (5:33:19 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 2 minutes and counting. Rocket propellant tank pressurization is underway. The vehicle's onboard measurement system is activated. Oxidizer and fuel drain and safety valves of the launch vehicle have been closed.
2132:19 GMT (5:32:19 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 3 minutes and counting. The nitrogen purge of the combustion chambers of side and central engine pods of the rocket is being performed in preparation for ignition.
2131:19 GMT (5:31:19 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 4 minutes. The launch key has been inserted in the bunker for liftoff.
2130:19 GMT (5:30:19 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 5 minutes and counting. Systems of the Soyuz have switched to onboard control, the ground measurement system and the Soyuz commander's controls are being activated.
2129 GMT (5:29 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 6 minutes. The automatic program for final launch operations is being initiated.
2128 GMT (5:28 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 7 minutes and counting. The crew has closed its helmet visors.
2125 GMT (5:25 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 10 minutes. The crew inside the Soyuz capsule are starting recorders to collect data during launch.
2121 GMT (5:21 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 14 minutes and counting. The Soyuz telemetry systems are being activated. They will relay real-time data back to Earth during today's launch.
2118 GMT (5:18 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 17 minutes. Now in the launch count, realignment of the Soyuz rocket's trajectory control system and checks of internal batteries should be complete. The Soyuz telemetry system will soon be activated and monitoring of Soyuz's thermal control system also will begin.
2115 GMT (5:15 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 20 minutes and counting. The three-stage Soyuz rocket will insert the 15,800-pound space capsule into a 149 by 121 mile orbit, inclined 51.6 degrees to the equator.
2110 GMT (5:10 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 25 minutes. The crew is completing leak checks of their Sokol launch spacesuits at this point in the countdown.
2105 GMT (5:05 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 30 minutes and counting. The emergency escape system is being armed. The system would be employed if a major malfunction occurs, propelling the Soyuz capsule off the top of the rocket to safety.
2102 GMT (5:02 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 33 minutes. Retraction of the two-piece service structure that has enclosed the Soyuz rocket during its stay at the launch pad is occurring as the towers rotate to a horizontal position. Several other umbilical arms connecting the rocket to the ground will be retracted at various times later in the countdown.
2100 GMT (5:00 p.m. EDT)
Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin, commander of the Soyuz spacecraft during launch and landing, is heading back to the International Space Station for his third visit. He flew on a space shuttle construction flight in 2002
and the long-duration Expedition 15 mission in 2007. Read his full bio
2055 GMT (4:55 p.m. EDT)
Expedition 24 flight engineer Doug Wheelock, a U.S. Army colonel raised in New York and a graduate from West Point, flew on shuttle Discovery's STS-120
mission in 2007 and conducted three spacewalks. He'll become the space station's Expedition 25 commander later this year. Read his full bio
2045 GMT (4:45 p.m. EDT)
Flight engineer and Soyuz co-pilot Shannon Walker, the first astronaut born and raised in Houston, is making her initial spaceflight. She holds a master's and doctorate in space physics from Rice University. Read her full bio
2035 GMT (4:35 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 60 minutes and counting. American astronauts Doug Wheelock and Shannon Walker and Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin were awakened about eight hours ago to begin launch day activities. They signed the doors at crew quarters and received religious blessings before boarding a bus that took the three crewmates the 25-mile distance into the cosmodrome. They donned their white Sokol launch and entry suits, met with officials from their respective space agencies and then headed for the pad. Crowds of well-wishers gathered to wave goodbye as the crew reached the rocket. An elevator took the trio up to the capsule-level of the tower to begin climbing aboard the cramped spacecraft.
1905 GMT (3:05 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 2 hours, 30 minutes. The Soyuz rocket is fueled, the crew has traveled to the launch pad and the countdown is progressing toward liftoff of the space station's Expedition 24 crew from the Baikonur Cosmodrome.
1500 GMT (11:00 a.m. EDT)
Engineers are readying a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for launch today to ferry two NASA astronauts and a Russian cosmonaut to the International Space Station, boosting the lab's crew from three to six. Liftoff is targeted for 5:35 p.m. EDT (2135 GMT) from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Read our preview story.
SUNDAY, JUNE 13, 2010
A Russian-made Soyuz booster rocket and its crew transport capsule were transported by rail from the final assembly building to the launch pad Sunday in preparation for this week's trip to the International Space Station.
Liftoff of two Americans and a Russian cosmonaut is scheduled for Tuesday at 5:35 p.m. EDT (2135 GMT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
NASA's Doug Wheelock and Shannon Walker, plus Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin are headed to the orbiting outpost for a six-month mission as part of the Expeditions 24 and 25.
They'll join the trio already living up there -- commander Alexander Skvortsov, cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko and American astronaut Tracy Caldwell-Dyson.
The Soyuz rocket completed its rollout Sunday morning. Mounted horizontally on a railcar, the launcher journeyed along a winding route from the integration facility at Site 254 to the same historic pad used since the dawn of the space age.
Hydraulic pistons lifted the rocket upright on the pad and gantry swing arms moved into position to enclose the vehicle. Technicians on four levels hooked up electrical and telemetry cables between the rocket and pad.
Additional coverage for subscribers:
SOYUZ ROCKET ROLLED TO THE LAUNCH PAD PLAY
POST-ROLLOUT COMMENTS FROM NASA OFFICIAL PLAY
ASSEMBLY OF SOYUZ COMPLETED IN THE HANGAR PLAY
HIGHLIGHTS OF CREW'S ACTIVITIES AT BAIKONUR PLAY
CREW'S DEPARTURE FROM STAR CITY TRAINING BASE PLAY
PRIME AND BACKUP CREWS MEET WITH REPORTERS PLAY
CEREMONIAL VISIT TO RED SQUARE IN MOSCOW PLAY
Following liftoff of the three-stage, liquid-fueled booster, the capsule will be inserted into a preliminary orbit within nine minutes. But it will take two days for the Soyuz TMA-19 spacecraft to the reach station. Docking to the Zvezda module is scheduled for Thursday at 6:25 p.m. EDT (2225 GMT).
Here is an overview the key events in the Soyuz's launch countdown, as provided by NASA:
- T- 6:00:00 Batteries are installed in the booster
- T- 5:30:00 State commission gives "go" to take launch vehicle
- T- 5:15:00 Crew arrives at site 254
- T- 5:00:00 Tanking begins
- T- 4:20:00 Spacesuit donning
- T- 4:00:00 Booster is loaded with liquid oxygen
- T- 3:40:00 Crew meets delegations
- T- 3:10:00 Reports to the State commission
- T- 3:05:00 Transfer to the launch pad
- T- 3:00:00 Vehicle first and second stage oxidizer fueling complete
- T- 2:35:00 Crew arrives at launch vehicle
- T- 2:30:00 Crew ingress through orbital module side hatch
- T- 2:00:00 Crew in re-entry vehicle
- T- 1:45:00 Re-entry vehicle hardware tested; suits are ventilated
- T- 1:30:00 Launch command monitoring and supply unit prepared;
-- Orbital compartment hatch tested for sealing
- T- 1:00:00 Launch vehicle control system prepared for use; gyro instruments activated
- T- :45:00 Launch pad service structure halves are lowered
- T- :40:00 Re-entry vehicle hardware testing complete; leak checks performed on suits
- T- :30:00 Emergency escape system armed; launch command supply unit activated
- T- :25:00 Service towers withdrawn
- T- :15:00 Suit leak tests complete; crew engages personal escape hardware auto mode
- T- :10:00 Launch gyro instruments uncaged; crew activates on-board recorders
- T- 7:00 All prelaunch operations are complete
- T- 6:15 Key to launch command given at the launch site;
-- Automatic program of final launch operations is activated
- T- 6:00 All launch complex and vehicle systems ready for launch
- T- 5:00 Onboard systems switched to onboard control;
-- Ground measurement system activated by RUN 1 command;
-- Commander's controls activated;
-- Crew switches to suit air by closing helmets;
-- Launch key inserted in launch bunker
- T- 3:15 Combustion chambers of side and central engine pods purged with nitrogen
- T- 2:30 Booster propellant tank pressurization starts;
-- Onboard measurement system activated by RUN 2 command;
-- Prelaunch pressurization of all tanks with nitrogen begins
- T- 2:15 Oxidizer and fuel drain and safety valves of launch vehicle are closed;
-- Ground filling of oxidizer and nitrogen to the launch vehicle is terminated
- T- 1:00 Vehicle on internal power;
-- Automatic sequencer on;
-- First umbilical tower separates from booster
- T- :40 Ground power supply umbilical to third stage is disconnected
- T- :20 Launch command given at the launch position;
-- Central and side pod engines are turned on
- T- :15 Second umbilical tower separates from booster
- T- :10 Engine turbopumps at flight speed
- T- :05 First stage engines at maximum thrust
- T- :00 Fueling tower separates;
-- Lift off
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