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Previous mission: Soyuz TMA-9

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The mission of the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft (Mission 14S) in the spring of 2007 had a goal of delivering and returning the 15th long-duration crew of the International Space Station, ISS. The launch was scheduled for April 7, 2007.

Expedition 15 crews:

Name Status
Primary crew
Fyodor Yurchikhin Commander Roskosmos  
Oleg Kotov Flight Engineer Roskosmos  
Sunita Williams Flight Engineer NASA Joined Expedition 14 in progress, remains onbard with Expedition 15
Daniel Tani Flight Engineer NASA Joins Expedition 15 in progress, after launching to the station aboard Atlantis on mission STS-120 in the summer 2007. He was slated to return home aboard Discovery on mission STS-122.
Charles Simonyi Tourist Private (USA) Returns with Expedition 14 onboard Soyuz TMA-9 in April 2007.
Backup crew
Roman Romanenko Commander Roskosmos -
Mikhail Kornienko Flight Engineer Roskosmos -
Gregory Chamitoff Flight Engineer NASA -
Sandra Magnus Flight Engineer NASA -

Pre-launch milestones:

2007 Feb. 8: At RKK Energia in Korolev, the primary crew of Expedition 15 to the ISS conducted familiarization training with hardware for science experiments commissioned by the Japanese space agency, JAXA.

2007 Feb. 9: Expedition 15 crew enters final phase of pre-flight training in Russia.

2007 Feb. 12, 5:00 Moscow Time: The Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft is delivered to Baikonur by rail.

2007 Feb. 15: The Soyuz TMA-10 spacecreaft was unloaded from the rail car and installed into the test facility at Site-254.

2007 March 20: At Site-112 TsSKB Progress conducted pneumatic tests of the Soyuz-FG rocket, intended for the launch of the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft, whose solar panels were tested on the same day at Site-254.

2007 March 27: Primary and backup crews of Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft arrived to Baikonur for final familiarizatrion training onboard the actual vehicle, which was undergoing pre-launch processing at Site-254. Training took place a day later.

2007 March 29: Soyuz TMA-10 was loaded with propellants at Site-31's fueling station.

2007 March 30: After loading propellants onboard Soyuz TMA-10 at Site-31's fueling station, the spacecraft was returned back to Site-254 for final pre-launch testing.

2007 March 31: At Site-254, Soyuz TMA-10 was the transfer ring of the launch vehicle.

2007 April 1: At Site-254, officials conducted final inspection of Soyuz TMA-10 and the spacecraft was placed inside the payload fairing.

2007 April 3: At Site-254, crew conducted a second training with the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft, while the spacecraft was being prepared for a transfer to Site-112 for integration with the launch vehicle.

2007 April 4: At Site-112, the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft was integrated with the Soyuz-FG launch vehicle.

2007 April 5, 5:00 Moscow Time: The Soyuz-FG launch vehicle with the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft was rolled out to the launch pad at Site-1 in Baikonur.

Expedition 15 milestones (as of April 2007):

2007 April 7, 21:31:03 Moscow Time (17:31 GMT): Soyuz TMA-10 (Mission 14S, Expedition 15) Launch

2007 April 9, 23:15 Moscow Time (19:15 GMT): Soyuz TMA-10 docking to the ISS

2007 April 20, 14:20 Moscow Time (10:17 GMT): Soyuz TMA-9 undocking from the ISS

2007 May 12: Progress M-60 launch

2007 June 1: Russian EVA 18, Yurchikhin, Kotov

2007 June 7: Russian EVA 19, Yurchikhin, Kotov

2007: US EVA 9 Anderson, Yurchikhin

2007 Sept. 3: Progress M-61 launch

2007 Oct. 6: Soyuz TMA-11 launch

2007 October: Soyuz TMA-10 landing

New expedition orbits Earth on its way to the station

2007 April 7: The 15th long-duration crew of the International Space Station, ISS, reached the orbit after a successful launch from Russia's facility in Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft bound for the ISS blasted off as scheduled from Site 1 in Baikonur Cosmodrome, on Saturday April 7, 2007, at 21:31:14 Moscow Time (1:31 p.m. EDT). The Soyuz FG rocket followed a standard trajectory to reach orbit with the inclination 51.6 degrees to the Equator.

Around nine minutes after the launch, NASA TV reported that Soyuz TMA-10 successfully reached the orbit. The Russian mission control in Korolev reported that all elements onboard the Soyuz were successfully deployed.

Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov are scheduled to remain onboard the international outpost until October 2007. If their mission goes as planned, two cosmonauts would log 189 days in orbit.

Along with the Expedition 15 crew, an American businessman, Charles Simonyi, is taking a ride to orbit as a tourist. He expected to return to Earth after 13 days in space, onboard the Soyuz TMA-9 spacecraft, along with the departing Expedition 14 crew.

The Soyuz TMA-10 is scheduled to dock to the nadir (Earth-facing) docking port of the Zarya control module on the International Space Station Monday, April 9, 2007, at 23:12 Moscow Time (3:12 p.m. EDT).

During its stay in orbit, Expedition 15 is expected to conduct three spacewalks, greet three Space Shuttle crews and receive two Russian Progress cargo ships.


After a two-day chase, the Soyuz TMA-10 docked to the nadir (Earth-facing) docking port of the Zarya control module on the International Space Station on Monday, April 9, 2007, at 23:10 Moscow Time (3:10 p.m. EDT), or two minutes ahead of schedule. At the time, spacecraft were flying over Kiev, Ukraine.

At 3:18 p.m. NASA confirmed that hooks and latches on the docking port connecting Soyuz TMA-10 to the station had been successfully closed and five minutes later a confirmation came that latches on the station side did the same. Hatch opening between the station and the Soyuz was planned for 00:52 Moscow Time, Tuesday, (4:55 p.m. EST Monday), however it was actually done some 20 minutes ahead of schedule.

During its stay in orbit, Expedition 15 is expected to conduct three spacewalks, greet three Space Shuttle crews and receive two Russian Progress cargo ships.

Spacewalk (EVA-18)

2007 May 30: Two International Space Station cosmonauts successfully completed a 5-hour, 25-minute spacewalk from the Pirs docking compartment airlock May 30, 2007, installing Service Module Debris Protection (SMDP) panels and rerouting a Global Positioning System antenna cable, NASA said.

Additional SMDP panels were to be installed on Zvezda service module during a second spacewalk by the cosmonauts, Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov, on June 6, 2007. During that spacewalk they also will install a section of an Ethernet cable on the Zarya module and a Russian experiment called Biorisk on Pirs.

Yurchikhin, the lead spacewalker, EV1, and Kotov, EV2, wore Russian Orlan spacesuits. It was the first spacewalk for both.

After leaving the Pirs airlock at 3:05 p.m. EDT, the spacewalkers moved to the Strela 2, one of the hand-operated cranes at the base of Pirs. They attached an extension to the Strela boom. With Kotov on the end of the extension, Yurchikhin extended the boom to a point over Pressurized Mating Adaptor 3 (PMA-3), on the Unity Node, a distance of about 60 feet.

Yurchikhin, with guidance from Kotov, maneuvered the Strela end effector to a grapple fixture on the SMDP Adaptor, a stowage rack. It is attached to PMA-3 and held three bundles of SMDP panels, a total of 17 of them. The assembly has been dubbed the "Christmas Tree."

Once the Christmas Tree was attached to Strela and released from PMA-3, Yurchikhin moved it and Kotov back to the small diameter of Zvezda. Yurchikhin joined Kotov there, and together they secured it to a grapple fixture on Zvezda.

They then left the SMDP task and moved aft on Zvezda's large diameter. There they rerouted a cable for a Global Positioning System to be used with the European Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV).

That done, they moved back to the Christmas Tree on the forward end of Zvezda, where they removed and opened one of the three bundles of debris panels. That bundle, No. 4, held five panels. The aluminum panels vary in size but are about an inch thick. They typically measure about 2 by 3 feet and weigh 15 to 20 pounds.

Yurchikhin and Kotov installed the five panels on Zvezda's conical section, the area between Zvezda's large and small diameters.

Six SMDPs from bundle No. 1 were installed during an Aug. 16, 2002, spacewalk by Expedition 5 Commander Valery Korzun and Flight Engineer Peggy Whitson. Those SMDPs were delivered to the station by Endeavour during STS-111 in June 2002.

The remaining three bundles and their adaptor were delivered by Discovery during STS-116 last December and attached to PMA-3 by spacewalkers Bob Curbeam and Sunita Williams. Williams was intravehicular officer for May 30 spacewalk, advising and keeping the spacewalkers on schedule.

After the installation task, the spacewalkers moved back to Pirs and into the airlock. Hatch closure marking the end of the spacewalk was at 8:30 p.m.

Spacewalk (EVA-19)

2007 June 7: The Expedition 15 crew completed the second spacewalk in eight days and continued preparations for space shuttle Atlantis' arrival at the International Space Station.

Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov opened the hatch on the Pirs docking compartment at 10:23 a.m. EDT to begin a spacewalk lasting 5 hours and 37 minutes. The cosmonauts installed sample containers on the Pirs module for a Russian experiment. The experiment, called Biorisk, looks at the effect of space on microorganisms.

Next, the spacewalkers strung a section of Ethernet cable on the exterior of the Zarya module. This completed the installation of a remote computer network that will enable commanding of the station's Russian segment from the U.S. segment, if necessary.

Yurchikhin and Kotov later moved to the primary task on the agenda, putting up 12 debris shield panels on the conical section of the Zvezda service module. Five panels were installed last week, and six others were installed in 2002 to improve the module's protection from micrometeroid debris strikes. The aluminum panels each measure approximately 2 feet by 3 feet and are 1 inch thick.

Almost two and a half hours into the spacewalk, Russian controllers noticed unusual readings in Pirs docking compartment and asked Yurchikhin to return to the module where he verified that the pressurized oxygen bottles were closed properly. Mission Control Moscow subsequently determined that a small amount of oxygen was flowing from a fluid umbilical that had not closed fully when it was disconnected from the spacesuit at the beginning of the spacewalk. Controllers closed the flow of oxygen to that umbilical to preserve the supply and restarted it during repressurization of Pirs after the spacewalk concluded.

The spacewalk ended at 4:00 p.m. when the hatch on Pirs was closed. Both cosmonauts now have 11 hours and 2 minutes experience in the Russian Orlan spacesuits. This was the 83rd spacewalk in support of station assembly and maintenance, the 55th conducted from the station, and the 22nd conducted out of Pirs.

During Wednesday's spacewalk, Flight Engineer Sunita Williams remained aboard the station monitoring the spacewalk, exercising and conducting experiment activities. Earlier this week, she and her crewmates prepared the Quest airlock for the spacewalks planned during Atlantis' mission. They also packed her personal items and experiment results for her return to Earth aboard Atlantis. Early in the morning of June 16, 2007, Williams will exceed astronaut Shannon Lucid's mark for the longest spaceflight ever by a woman, 188 days and 4 hours.

Commander Rick Sturckow and the crew of shuttle Atlantis are in Florida preparing for their scheduled launch Friday, June 8, 2007, at 7:38 p.m. EDT. STS-117, due to dock to the station at 3:49 p.m. EDT Sunday, June 10, delivers a new set of solar array wings and a new station flight engineer, NASA astronaut Clay Anderson.

Station's computer failures resolved

Published: 2007 June 15; updated June 19

After two days of problems, Russian engineers apparently found the source of the problem, which disabled station’s main flight control computers during past two days, NASA said Friday, June 15.

Oversensitive switches likely caused all six computers onboard the Zvezda service module in the Russian segment of the station to fail, despite continuous efforts of the crew and ground controllers to reboot them.

When a faulty switch was finally isolated as a possible culprit, the crew onboard the station was able to improvise a bypass, which revived four out of six computers. Two remaining computers believed to be suffered a "hard failure" and have to be replaced, according to NASA officials. The first opportunity to deliver spare units to replace failed computers would be with the Progress M-61 cargo ship. In the wake of the computer problems Russian officials considered advancing the launch date for the craft to as early as July 23, 2007.

Fortunately, around 24 hours later after fixing first four computers, the crew was able to successfully reboot two remaining machines. It cleared the way for transferring flight control functions back to the computers onbard the Russian segement after a series of tests.

The flight control system is crucial for the orientation of the outpost in orbit and the failure to repair it could potentially result in the evacuation of the station. While computers were down, Space Shuttle Atlantis docked to the station performed functions of the attitude control and orientation of the entire orbital complex.

The winged orbiter delivered a large section of the truss and a new set of solar arrays for the station's ever expanding power supply system. The installation of the truss and associated reconfiguration of the station's electrical grid was initially suspected as a source of computer problems onboard. The problem had to be resolved before relatively limited supplies onboard the Space Shuttle were exhausted and it had to depart the station. In the wake of the computer failure, NASA directed the crew onboard Atlantis to shut down unessential systems to conserve resources for possible extended presence onboard the ISS.

Space Shuttle Atlantis, conducting mission STS-117, arrived at the station June 10, 2007 and was scheduled to undock June 19, 2007.

Computer problems did plague the station in the past, however never before, had the orbital outpost all its six flight control units down. NASA officials explained that with ever increasing size of the station its electrical systems possibly becoming more sensitive to the magnetic field around the outpost, as it flies through plazma of near-Earth orbit.

Soon after four computers were successfully re-activated around 3:30 pm Houston Time, Friday, June 15, 2007, Russian flight controllers used them to power up the cooling system inside the Zvezda service module to prevent rising temperature in the module. However the attitude control system and the Elektron oxygen generating systems were left turned off until at least Saturday, June 16, as specialists continued analysing the performance of the flight control system.

Station crew completes successful spacewalk

Published: 2007 July 23

Two International Space Station crew members conducted a 7-hour 41-minute spacewalk on Monday, July 23, 2007. It included removal and jettison of a refrigerator-size ammonia reservoir.

The work outside the station lasted around one hour longer then originally planned, concluding at 2:06 p.m. EST Monday. The crew completed all its tasks during the spacewalk, plus some of the optional "get-ahead" work, NASA said.

The scheduled 6.5-hour spacewalk from the Quest Airlock began at 6:24 a.m. EDT Monday, July 23, 2007.

Astronaut Clay Anderson was the lead spacewalker, EV1, wearing the spacesuit with red stripes. Fyodor Yurchikhin, the cosmonaut and station commander, wearing the all-white suit, was EV2. Cosmonaut Oleg Kotov was in the U.S. laboratory Destiny to operate the Canadarm2.

After the spacewalk, a docked Progress M-60 cargo craft was to fire its thrusters raising the International Space Station’s orbit. This reboost, along with a reboost performed on July 20, 2007, provides the proper phasing for an upcoming Progress M-61 launch and docking. The July 23 Progress firing also clears the station after the Early Ammonia Servicer is jettisoned and provides flight day three rendezvous opportunities when space shuttle Endeavour arrives on mission STS-118.

The Progress M-59 cargo craft will undock from the Pirs docking compartment on Aug. 1, 2007, and burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere. Progress 26 is scheduled for launch on Aug. 2 and will reach the station on Aug. 5. Two days later on Aug. 7, space shuttle Endeavour is targeted for launch with a station rendezvous and docking planned for Aug. 9, 2007.

Station crew lands safely after off-nominal landing

Published: 2007 Oct. 21; updated Oct. 22

Soyuz ballistic landing

The ballistic descent usually results in a landing west of the nominal touchdown region. Copyright © 2003 Anatoly Zak

The crew returning from the International Space Station landed safely Sunday in Kazakhstan, after the off-nominal descent profile.

The reentry capsule of the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft carrying members of Expedition 15 to the station Fyodor Yurchikhin and Oleg Kotov, along with a Malaysian astronaut Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, landed on October 21, 2007, at 13:36 Moscow Time (5:36 a.m. Houston Time).

The crew was reported to be safe, however the capsule touched down some 340-370 kilometers west of the primary landing site, as a result of the "ballistic" reentry. Unlike the primary flight profile, the ballistic flight mode can not take full advantage of aerodynamic properties of the capsule, which enables more controlled and gentle descent. The ballistic descent is always available in the flight program of any Soyuz spacecraft, as a backup to the nominal aerodynamic flight mode.

According to the Russian space officials, the crew was subjected to higher than nominal G-loads (as much as 8.5 G), however otherwise, the landing was normal.

The cause of the switch from a nominal aerodynamic reentry mode to a much steeper ballistic trajectory was not immediately known. Russian officials formed an investigation commission to analyze the incident. Engineers were expecting to evaluate data from an autonomous register (Avtonomniy Registrator) -- an equivalent of a black box on the airplane -- which was recovered with the capsule, in the search for possible culprits.

In the wake of a similar ballistic landing of the Soyuz TMA-1 spacecraft in 2003, two Mi-8 helicopters were pre-deployed near the alternative landing site for the ballistic descent. The crews of these helicopters observed normal descent and touchdown of the spacecraft and recovery teams found the capsule on its side, next to a small grass fire caused by soft-landing engines. There was no live TV transmission from the landing site to the mission control in Korolev, which did cause some anxiety among officials and family members of the crew. However just 20 minutes after spacecraft's touchdown, rescuers reported that all crew members were safely extracted from the capsule.

Main recovery aircraft were diverted to the backup landing site.

Reconstruction of events

According to NASA, in preparation for landing, the crew of Soyuz TMA-10 closed hatches from the station to the spacecraft around 10:00 p.m. Houston Time on October 20, 2007. The vehicle undocked from the aft port of the Zvezda service module of the station at 2:14 a.m. (07:14 UTC; 11:14 Moscow Time) on October 21 and three minutes later initiated a separation burn to increase its distance from the ISS.

A four-minute deorbit burn, intended to send the Soyuz on its reentry path was initiated at 4:47 a.m. Houston Time, and around 25 minutes later, the habitation and the service module separated from the reentry capsule carrying the crew. The Automated Control Descent mode, known by a Russian abbreviation as ASU, was initiated at 13:16:07 Moscow Decree Time, as scheduled. If worked as intended, the ASU mode would provide a nominal return to Earth, using aerodynamic lift capabilities of the reentry capsule. However around 5:18 a.m. Houston (13:18 Moscow Decree Time), or one minute 53 seconds after ASU activation, Oleg Kotov reported that the capsule's computer switched to the "ballistic" mode of descent. Russian space officials told, that the crew reported the switch to the ballistic mode shortly before the reentry capsule was surrounded with plasma caused by the friction with the upper atmosphere, making communications with the ground impossible for several minutes. At the time, the reentry capsule was not relaying telemetry to the ground, Russian officials said.

Thanks to the timely reporting of the incident by the crew, ground control in Korolev was able quickly estimate the new location of the landing and direct rescuers to the area.

According to Russian reports, soft-landing engines of the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft, designed to fire at the touchdown, were activated at 13:36 Moscow Decree Time (14:36 Moscow Time), which is around one minute ahead of the nominal schedule. The shift reflects faster, shorter descent trajectory. First helicopters landed near the capsule at 14:43 Moscow Time, or just seven minutes after the spacecraft touchdown.

Malaysian astronaut Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor later provided following description of the landing:

"The feeling of 9G load was like an elephant pressing on your chest. I just couldn’t breathe and hence was trained to use your abdomen instead. Your inhale of breath start to become shorter which start to cloud your vision and everything happens so fast. The Soyuz started to spin and tumble for about 10 seconds and you just have to make sure that you are conscious. It’s important for you to fix your neck as not to cause a fracture upon landing.

At 2.5 km the soft thrusters started to operate but the landing was still with a great impact. I could see the grass was burning and some came into our air ventillation which the commander quickly shut. Smokes were coming out from the front. Fortunately we had our spacesuit with our helmet closed so our breathing was not interrupted. The Soyuz landed on its sides and I was laying there on the very top and looking down I could see the other crew members. We waited for about 20 minutes before the hatch was opened by the rescue team. That was amazing on how fast they reached our location since we landed 400 kilometers away from the actual landing site. Only one chopper made it since the other five helicopters have no reserve fuel tank which includes the paramedics and scientists (since usually the Soyuz lands within 10-kilometer radius to the expected site).

There is an emergency satellite phone in the Soyuz and I used them to call my dad informing my safety. We waited for about an hour before the paramedics arrived. I felt great upon my landing and had no qualms or any side effect whatsoever."

Summary of known landing events for the Soyuz-TMA-10 spacecraft on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2007:

Moscow Time Moscow Decree Time Houston Time Event
07:00 06:00 10:00 p.m. (Oct. 20) Closed hatches from the station to the spacecraft
11:14 10:14 2:14 a.m. Separation burn
11:17 10:17 2:17 a.m. Undocked from the aft port
13:47:07* 12:47:07 4:47 a.m. Deorbit burn initiated
13:51:28 12:51:28 4:51 a.m. Deorbit burn terminated
14:11:25 13:11:25 5:11 a.m. Separation of the reentry capsule, habitation and service modules
14:14:15 13:14 5:14 a.m. Atmospheric entry
14:16:02 13:16:07 5:16 a.m. Automated Control Descent mode initiated
14:18 13:18 5:18 a.m. Kotov reported switch to ballistic descent mode
14:20:47 13:20 5:20 a.m. Maximum G loads on the crew
14:20:42 13:20 5:20 a.m. Opening of the main parachute (during ballistic mode of descent only)
14:22:39 13:22 5:22 a.m. Parachute opening command (aerodynamic descent)
14:36 13:36 5:36 a.m. Soft landing (actual, after ballistic descent)
14:37:03 13:37 5:37 a.m. Soft landing scheduled (scheduled, after aerodynamic descent)
14:52-14:58 13:52-13:58 5:52 a.m. - 5:58 a.m. Crew exits capsule

*scheduled time shown in cursive

In the wake of next ballistic descent at the end of the Soyuz TMA-11 mission in April 2008, NASA officials revealed that during the return to Earth of the Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft in October 2007, there was a problem with the separation of the propulsion module and the reentry capsule with the crew. This failure apparently led to the switch to the ballistic reentry.

Next mission: Soyuz TMA-11

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This page is maintained by Anatoly Zak; Last update: May 5, 2012

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Soyuz TMA-10 is placed inside payload fairing at Site-254 in Baikonur on April 1, 2007. Credit: RKK Energia


Crew of Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft, (left to right, dressed in blue) Charles Simonyi, Oleg Kotov and Fyodor Yurchikhin, inspect the Progress M-60 cargo ship at Site-254 in Baikonur on April 3, 2007. Credit: RKK Energia


Fyodor Yurchikhin from the Soyuz TMA-10 crew inspects cargo section of the Progress M-60 spacecraft at Site-254 in Baikonur on April 3, 2007. Credit: RKK Energia

The Soyuz FG rocket with Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft is being installed on its launch pad at Site 1 in Baikonur. Credit: RKK Energia

A crew inside the Soyuz TMA-10, shortly before launch. A toy black cat, which would indicate the crew weightlessness and guarantee good luck can be seen hanging on the left. Credit: NASA TV

Access gantry is retracted from the Soyuz rocket. Credit: NASA TV

Soyuz TMA-10 blasts off from Baikonur on April 7, 2007. Credit: NASA TV


Soyuz TMA-10 approaches the station on April 9, 2007. Credit: NASA TV


Seconds after opening hatches Monday, an American businessman Charles Simonyi is about to float from Soyuz into the station. Credit: NASA TV

Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov (left) rides on the end of the Strela crane with a bundle of debris panels as Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin operates the controls during a spacewalk on May 30, 2007. Credit: NASA TV

Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov guides a bundle of debris panels during a spacewalk on May 30, 2007. Credit: NASA TV



The Expedition 15 crew conducts spacewalk on June 7, 2007. Credit: NASA TV

Despite problems with computers, Shuttle astronauts continued planned third spacewalk on June 15, 2007. Credit: NASA

Soyuz TMA-10 undocks

View of the International Space Station, ISS, from the departing Soyuz TMA-10 spacecraft on Oct. 21, 2007. The aft port of the Zvezda service module is on foreground, the The Progress cargo ship can be seen on the bottom left. Credit: NASA