FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2011
0037 GMT (8:37 p.m. EDT Thurs.)
Welcome aboard! The newest residents have floated 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 28 crew is comprised of three Russians and two Americans and a Japanese astronaut.

0035 GMT (8:35 p.m. EDT Thurs.)
The hatchway between the Soyuz spacecraft and the station was opened at 8:34 p.m. EDT.
0001 GMT (8:01 p.m. EDT Thurs.)
Mission Control says the leak checks have been uneventful after a successful docking of the Soyuz spacecraft to the space station. Hatch opening is anticipated shortly.
2129 GMT (5:29 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.
2119 GMT (5:19 p.m. EDT)
The docking occurred as the space station flew over the Atlantic just off the coast of Brazil at an altitude of 218 miles, a few minutes ahed of schedule.

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 8:30 p.m. EDT.

2118 GMT (5:18 p.m. EDT)
DOCKING. The Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft has docked to the Rassvet module of the space station, delivering NASA's Mike Fossum, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa to the international outpost.

The new Expedition 28 residents join commander Andrey Borisenko, cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev and American astronaut Ron Garan. They have been aboard the station since April.

2117 GMT (5:17 p.m. EDT)
A steady, stable approach using Soyuz's automated rendezvous system continues.
2116 GMT (5:16 p.m. EDT)
About 50 feet to go.
2115 GMT (5:15 p.m. EDT)
The capsule remains on course and lined up for docking.
2115 GMT (5:15 p.m. EDT)
Now inside 80 feet and closing.
2114 GMT (5:14 p.m. EDT)
The Soyuz and station are nearing an orbital sunset. The headlight on Soyuz has been turned on for this docking in nighttime.
2113 GMT (5:13 p.m. EDT)
About 130 feet left to go.
2112 GMT (5:12 p.m. EDT)
The docking mechanism has been powered up.
2111 GMT (5:11 p.m. EDT)
Now 190 feet, closing at 0.78 feet per second.
2110 GMT (5:10 p.m. EDT)
Now less than 330 feet to docking.
2109 GMT (5:09 p.m. EDT)
The Russian flight control team has given approval and the final approach has commenced.
2106 GMT (5:06 p.m. EDT)
The Soyuz completed the flyaround to align with the docking port. It's now in the stationkeeping hold about 675 feet away while controllers verify all is in readiness for final approach.
2104 GMT (5:04 p.m. EDT)
The capsule is completing a roll maneuver as part of the sequence to prepare for docking.
2101 GMT (5:01 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 eastern coast of South America.
2058 GMT (4:58 p.m. EDT)
Soyuz is flying itself around the international outpost to get into the approach corridor leading to the Rassvet module's docking port.
2056 GMT (4:56 p.m. EDT)
The capsule is within 2,000 feet of the outpost now, the closure rate down to 5 miles per hour.
2054 GMT (4:54 p.m. EDT)
Now 3,100 feet, closing at 7.8 miles per hour.
2052 GMT (4:52 p.m. EDT)
Range 5,500 feet.
2049 GMT (4:49 p.m. EDT)
Now 10,000 feet, closing at 14.5 miles per hour.
2042 GMT (4:42 p.m. EDT)
About 15,000 feet separate the capsule and space station.
2030 GMT (4:30 p.m. EDT)
The Soyuz spacecraft is nearing the space station for docking a little less than an hour from now at 5:22 p.m. EDT. You can watch live NASA Television coverage right here on this page.
1800 GMT (2:00 p.m. EDT)
The Soyuz spacecraft carrying three new residents for the space station is scheduled for docking today at 5:22 p.m. EDT (2122 GMT).

The automated rendezvous sequence aboard the Russian-built crew transport capsule will begin about 3:01 p.m. EDT to control the activities via autopilot.

The day's first key engine firing is planned for 3:22 p.m. and another impulse is expected around 3:45 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 4:10 p.m., closing to less than 10 miles by 4:35 p.m.

The television camera on the nose of Soyuz will be turned on at 4:39 p.m. to provide views of the docking.

A series of maneuvers between 4:47 and 4:55 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 Rassvet 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 5:11 p.m. for docking about 11 minutes later. Soyuz commander Sergei Volkov will be standing by to take over manual flying of the spacecraft if required.

The linkup should occur at 5:22 p.m. EDT, a few minutes after orbital sunset.

The hatch opening and welcoming ceremony aboard the station is expected around 8:30 p.m. EDT.

Watch this page for live updates and streaming video starting at 4:30 p.m. EDT (2030 GMT).

Under a cloudless night sky, a second-generation Russian cosmonaut, a Japanese physician-astronaut and a NASA shuttle veteran blasted off aboard an upgraded Soyuz spacecraft Tuesday and set off after the International Space Station on a mission to boost the lab's crew back to six and clear the way for a final shuttle resupply mission next month.

Read our full story.

2030 GMT (4:30 p.m. EDT)
To recap, it was succesful flight by the Soyuz vehicle today beginning with launch at 4:12 p.m. EDT (2012 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):

04:12:45 PM...LAUNCH

04:21:30 PM...Orbital Insertion
07:52:51 PM...DV-1 rendezvous rocket firing
..............(change in velocity (dV): 47.3 fps)
08:34:09 PM...DV-2 rendezvous rocket firing (dV: 64.3 fps)


04:53:10 PM...DV-3 rendezvous rocket firing (dV: 6.6 fps)


02:00:00 PM...US to Russian attitude control system handover
02:05:00 PM...ISS maneuver to docking attitude
02:07:00 PM...Zarya Kurs-P rendezvous system activation
03:01:41 PM...AR&D automated rendezvous start
03:22:30 PM...AR&D DV-4/Impulse 1 (dV: 46.4 fps)
03:45:46 PM...AR&D Impulse 2 (dV: 4.5 fps)
03:48:00 PM...Soyuz Kurs rendezvous system activation
03:50:00 PM...SM Kurs-P activation
04:05:05 PM...Daily Orbit 1 Russian ground station AOS
04:08:00 PM...AR&D DV-5/Impulse 3 (dV: 55.7 fps)
04:09:21 PM...Range = 62 miles: Soyuz VHF-2 voice link
04:10:28 PM...Orbital sunrise
04:13:21 PM...Range = 49.7 miles: Valid Kurs-P range data
04:28:11 PM...Daily Orbit 1 Russian ground station LOS
04:34:01 PM...Range = 9.3 miles: Kurs-A & Kurs-P short test
04:39:41 PM...Range = 5.6 miles: Soyuz TV activation
04:47:56 PM...AR&D Impulse 4 (dV: 21.8 fps)
04:51:41 PM...AR&D Ballistic Targeting Point
04:52:35 PM...AR&D Impulse 5 (dV: 18.7 fps)
04:55:12 PM...AR&D Impulse 6 (dV: 6.6 fps)
04:58:12 PM...AR&D Flyaround mode start
05:06:00 PM...AR&D Stationkeeping start
05:11:00 PM...AR&D Final Approach start
05:11:00 PM...ISS inertial snap-and-hold window open
05:16:14 PM...Orbital sunset
05:22:00 PM...DOCKING (Rassvet mini-research module)
2023 GMT (4:23 p.m. EDT)
Fossum, Volkov and Furukawa have arrived in orbit following launch aboard the Soyuz TMA-02M 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 midnight 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.

2022 GMT (4:22 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.
2021 GMT (4:21 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 5:22 p.m. EDT on Thursday.
2021 GMT (4:21 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 8 minutes, 30 seconds. The crew reports all remains in good shape aboard the spacecraft.
2020 GMT (4:20 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.
2020 GMT (4:20 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 7 minutes, 30 seconds. Pitch, yaw and roll are reported nominal.
2019 GMT (4:19 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 7 minutes. The four-nozzle engine of the upper stage continues to burn to inject the spacecraft into orbit.
2018 GMT (4:18 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 6 minutes. Soyuz's upper stage is firing to propel the spacecraft into a stable orbital perch around Earth.
2017 GMT (4:17 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.
2016 GMT (4:16 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 4 minutes. The core motor continues to fire on its propellant mixture of kerosene fuel and supercold liquid oxygen.
2015 GMT (4:15 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 3 minutes. The safety escape tower and launch shroud have been jettisoned from the atop the Soyuz capsule.
2015 GMT (4:15 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 2 minutes, 30 seconds. "We feel great and everything in nominal onboard," the crew reports as the Soyuz rockets toward space.
2014 GMT (4:14 p.m. EDT)
T+plus 2 minutes, 10 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.
2013 GMT (4:13 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 Satoshi Furukawa is strapped into the left-hand seat, Sergei Volkov is in the center seat for his role as the Soyuz commander and NASA astronaut Mike Fossum is in the right-hand seat.
2013 GMT (4:13 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 Pacific Ocean.
2012:45 GMT (4:12:45 p.m. EDT)
LIFTOFF! Liftoff of American, Russian and Japanese astronauts headed for the International Space Station!
2012:20 GMT (4:12:20 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 25 seconds. The first umbilical arm has separated from Soyuz. The second will retract in the next few seconds.
2011:45 GMT (4:11:45 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 1 minute and counting. The Soyuz has been placed on internal power.
2010:45 GMT (4:10:45 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.
2009:45 GMT (4:09:45 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.
2008:45 GMT (4:08:45 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 4 minutes. The launch key has been inserted in the bunker for liftoff.
2007:45 GMT (4:07:45 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 5 minutes and counting. Soyuz has switched to onboard control, the ground measurement system and the capsule commander's controls are being activated.
2006 GMT (4:06 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 6 minutes. The automatic program for final launch operations is being initiated.
2005 GMT (4:05 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 7 minutes and counting. The crew has closed its helmet visors.
2002 GMT (4:02 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 10 minutes. The crew inside the Soyuz capsule are starting recorders to collect data during launch.
1958 GMT (3:58 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.
1955 GMT (3:55 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.
1952 GMT (3:52 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 20 minutes and counting. The three-stage Soyuz rocket will insert the 15,800-pound space capsule into a 143 by 118 mile orbit, inclined 51.6 degrees to the equator.
1947 GMT (3:47 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 25 minutes. The crew is completing leak checks of the Sokol launch spacesuits at this point in the countdown.
1942 GMT (3:42 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.
1935 GMT (3:35 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 37 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.
1932 GMT (3:32 p.m. EDT)
Expedition 28 flight engineer Mike Fossum, a two-time space shuttle astronaut, flew on shuttle Discovery's STS-121 mission in 2006 and STS-124 in 2008. He'll become the space station's Expedition 29 commander later this year. Read his full bio.
1927 GMT (3:27 p.m. EDT)
Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov, commander of the Soyuz spacecraft during launch and landing, is heading back to the International Space Station for his second visit. He flew on the long-duration Expedition 17 mission for 199 days in 2008. Read his full bio.
1922 GMT (3:22 p.m. EDT)
Flight engineer and Soyuz co-pilot Satoshi Furukawa, a medical doctor from Japan, is making his initial spaceflight. Read his full bio.
1912 GMT (3:12 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 60 minutes and counting. NASA's Mike Fossum, Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov and Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa 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.
1848 GMT (2:48 p.m. EDT)
Video highlights of the Soyuz crew's launch day activities are beginning to air in the streaming video.
1812 GMT (2:12 p.m. EDT)
T-minus 2 hours. 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 28 crew from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 4:12 p.m. EDT.
1530 GMT (11:30 a.m. EDT)
A second-generation Russian cosmonaut, a Japanese physician-astronaut and a NASA shuttle veteran were cleared for launch Tuesday aboard an upgraded Soyuz spacecraft bound for the International Space Station, a mission that will boost the lab's crew back to six and set the stage for a final shuttle resupply mission next month.

Read our full story.
SUNDAY, JUNE 5, 2011
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 the three-man crew from the U.S., Russia and Japan is scheduled for Tuesday at 4:12 p.m. EDT (2012 GMT) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

NASA's Mike Fossum, Russian cosmonuat Sergei Volkov and Japanese astronaut Satoshi Furukawa are headed to the orbiting outpost for a six-month mission as part of the Expeditions 28 and 29.

They'll join the trio already living up there -- commander Andrey Borisenko, cosmonaut Alexander Samokutyaev and American astronaut Ron Garan.

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.

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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-02M spacecraft to the reach station. Docking to the Rassvet module is scheduled for Thursday around 5:22 p.m. EDT (2122 GMT).

Here is an overview the key events in the Soyuz's launch countdown, as provided by NASA:

Watch this page for live updates and a video webcast during the final countdown and launch.

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