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Docking system

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Previous mission: Soyuz TMA-06M


Crew of Soyuz TMA-07M: Flight Engineers Chris Hadfield (left), Roman Romanenko (center) and Tom Marshburn pose for pictures in front of the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft at the completion of the final “fit check” dress rehearsal at Site 254 in Baikonur. Credit: NASA

The Soyuz TMA-07M mission scheduled for launch in December 2012 had a goal of delivering three members of the International Space Station crew, who represented the 34th and 35th long-duration expeditions on the orbiting outpost, where they were expected to remain until May 14, 2013.

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A Soyuz-FG rocket lifted off from Baikonur to the International Space Station, ISS, on Dec. 19, 2012, at 16:12:35 Moscow Time, carrying Soyuz TMA-07M (No. 704A) spacecraft.

The Soyuz TMA-07M mission has a goal of delivering three members of the International Space Station crew, who represented the 34th and 35th long-duration expeditions on the orbiting outpost.

Following the liftoff from Site 1 in Baikonur, the launch vehicle ascended along a standard trajectory delivering the Soyuz TMA-07M into its initial orbit at 16:21:23 Moscow Time.

The launch was originally scheduled for December 5, 2012, however by September 2012, a delay of a previous mission to the ISS required to postpone the launch of Soyuz TMA-07M to December 19, 2012.


Following a two-day rendezvous profile, Soyuz TMA-07M docked to the MIM1 module on the Russian segment of ISS on Dec. 21, 2012, at 18:09 Moscow Time (14:09 GMT) during the ship's 34th orbit and just three minutes ahead of schedule. A three-member crew joined three other residents of the station delivered by Soyuz TMA-06M spacecraft.

Soyuz TMA-07M and its crew was scheduled to return to Earth on May 14, 2013, after spending 147 days in space.


On April 19, 2013, two members of the Expedition 35 crew completed a 6-hour, 38 minute spacewalk at 4:41 p.m. EDT to deploy and retrieve several science experiments on the exterior of the International Space Station and install a new navigational aid, NASA said.

Russian Flight Engineers Pavel Vinogradov and Roman Romanenko opened the hatch to the Pirs airlock and docking compartment to start the spacewalk at 10:03 a.m. EDT.

The spacewalkers' first task was to install the Obstanovka experiment on the station's Zvezda service module. Obstanovka will study plasma waves and the effect of space weather on Earth's ionosphere.

While at the far end of Zvezda, Vinogradov and Romanenko replaced a faulty retro-reflector device, one of a suite of navigational aids that will provide assistance to the European Space Agency's Albert Einstein Automated Transfer Vehicle 4 cargo ship during its final approach for an automated docking to the space station in June 2013.

After deploying a pair of sensor booms for Obstanovka, Vinogradov and Romanenko retrieved the Biorisk experiment from the exterior of Pirs. The Biorisk experiment studied the effect of microbes on spacecraft structures.

For their final task, the two spacewalkers translated to the Poisk module to retrieve one of two Vinoslivost Materials Sample Experiment panels from the Poisk module. As Vinogradov was removing the panel, it slipped out of his grasp and was irretrievable. The trajectory the panel took will move it away from the space station with no chance of the two making contact.

This was the 167th spacewalk in support of space station assembly and maintenance, totaling 1,055 hours, 39 minutes. Vinogradov's seven spacewalks total 38 hours, 25 minutes. Romanenko completed his first spacewalk.

This was the first of as many as six Russian spacewalks planned in 2013. Two U.S. spacewalks are scheduled in July.

During April 19's spacewalk, Flight Engineers Alexander Misurkin and Chris Cassidy were restricted to their Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft and the Poisk module to which it is docked. This is a standard procedure during Russian spacewalks as hatches are closed to protect the remainder of the station while still providing crew members access to their Soyuz vehicles.

Commander Chris Cassidy and Flight Engineer Tom Marshburn, whose Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft is docked to Rassvet module, had a freer run of the station, including the Zarya module and all modules on the U.S. side of the station. While Vinogradov and Romanenko performed their spacewalk outside the station, Hadfield and Marshburn continued scientific research and maintenance activities inside.

Marshburn delved into his first onboard session with the BP Reg, a Canadian medical experiment that seeks to understand the causes of fainting and dizziness seen in some station astronauts upon return to Earth. BP Reg collects data before, during and after the mission using inflatable cuffs attached to the legs. The experiment will not only help understand dizziness in astronauts, but also have direct benefits for people on Earth – particularly those predisposed to falls and resulting injuries, as seen in the elderly.

Marshburn also collected data from NanoRacks and transferred the data to a laptop computer. NanoRacks provide microgravity research facilities for small standardized payloads aboard the station.

Hadfield retrieved acoustic dosimeters that Cassidy deployed throughout the station on April 18, 2013, and downloaded the data from these devices to track the noise levels that crew members are exposed to.

Hadfield also performed some maintenance on the Waste and Hygiene Compartment, one of the toilets aboard the station. The commander rounded out his workday loading software on a laptop computer associated with EXPRESS rack 8. Each of the eight EXPRESS racks aboard the complex provides simple, standard interfaces to accommodate up to ten small payloads, resulting in a total capability to operate up to 80 experiments.

Over the weekend, the Russian crew members were to spend some time drying out their Orlan spacesuits and stowing the tools used in April 19's spacewalk. All six crew members will participate in weekly housekeeping tasks and enjoy some off-duty time to rest and catch up with friends and family back on Earth.

Return to Earth

After 146 days in space, three out of six crew members of the International Space Station successfully landed Monday.

The Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft with Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield and NASA astronaut Tom Marshburn landed as scheduled on May 14, 2013, at 05:30 Moscow Time (9:30 p.m. EST on Monday, May 13), 147 kilometers northwest of the town of Dzhezkazgan in Kazakhstan.

In preparation for the return to Earth, the crew boarded the spacecraft and closed hatches to the station around 2:50 p.m. Houston Time on Monday, May 13.

The spacecraft then undocked from the station's Rassvet module at 03:08 Moscow Time on May 14, 2013, (7:08 p.m. EST on May 13), as the outpost was flying over Eastern Mongolia. At 7:11 p.m. EST, Soyuz started its first separation burn with its small thrusters.

A braking maneuver reducing the velocity of the spacecraft by 128 meters per second was completed as scheduled beginning at 9:37 p.m. EST on March 13. The descent module with the crew separated from service and habitation modules as scheduled.

On May 28, the next station crew is scheduled to lift off from Baikonur.

Soyuz TMA-07M landing milestones on May 14, 2013 (Moscow Time):

Hatch closing between Soyuz TMA-07M and ISS
2:50 p.m.*
3:50 p.m.*
7.348 km/s
Undocking between Soyuz TMA-07M and ISS
6:08 p.m.*
7:08 p.m.*
7.348 km/s
Sunrise at landing site 146 kilometers from Dzhezkazgan
6:46 p.m.*
7:46 p.m.*
7.348 km/s
Braking engine burn start
8:37 p.m.*
9:37 p.m.*
429.3 km
7.348 km/s
Braking engine burn end
8:41 p.m.*
9:41 p.m.*
419.9 km
7.234 km/s
Separation of descent module from service and habitation modules
9:04 p.m.*
10:04 p.m.*
139.9 km
7.574 km/s
Reentry into the Earth's atmosphere
9:07 p.m.*
10:07 p.m.*
99.5 km
7.623 km/s
Beginning of aerodynamic control
9:09 p.m.*
10:09 p.m.*
80.7 km
7.623 km/s
Parachute release in case of emergency ballistic descent
9:14 p.m.*
10:14 p.m.*
10.7 km
0.203 km/s
Maximum dynamic loads
9:14 p.m.*
10:14 p.m.*
34.0 km
2.070 km/s
Parachute release command
9:16 p.m.*
10:16 p.m.*
10.8 km
0.216 km/s
9:30 p.m.*
10:30 p.m.*
0 km
0 km/s
Sunset at landing site
9:51 a.m.
10:51 a.m.

*Time on May 13

Soyuz TMA-07M crew:

Name Status
Roman Romanenko Commander of Soyuz TMA-07M; flight engineer for Expedition 34 and 35 Roskosmos
Chris Hadfield Flight engineer for Expedition 34 and 35 Canadian space agency, CSA
Tom Marshburn Flight engineer for Expedition 34 and 35 NASA

Next mission: Soyuz TMA-08M


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This page is maintained by Anatoly Zak

Last update: May 13, 2013

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The Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft shortly after its arrival to launch pad At Site 1 in Baikonur on December 17, 2012. Credit: RKK Energia


Soyuz TMA-07M lifts off on Dec. 19, 2012. Credit: NASA TV


Separation of first stage boosters of the Soyuz FG rocket captured by cameras tracking the launch of Soyuz TMA-07M on Dec. 19, 2012. Credit: NASA TV


Space station as viewed by a camera onboard Soyuz TMA-07M seconds after its undocking on May 14, 2013 (Moscow Time). Credit: NASA TV


Soyuz TMA-07M departs ISS on May 14, 2013 (Moscow Time). Credit: NASA TV


Descent module of the Soyuz TMA-07M spacecraft seconds before touchdown as seen by live TV cameras on May 14, 2013 (Moscow Time). Credit: NASA TV