March 26, 2014

Soyuz TMA-12M with new ISS mission crew comprised by Alexander Skvortsov, Oleg Artemyev (Roscosmos) and Stephen Swanson (NASA) was successfully launched from “Gagarin” launchpad of Baikonur spaceport with the help of Soyuz-FG booster.

At 01.26 the spacecraft separated from booster’s third stage and entered near-Earth orbit, the crew felt weightlessness.

Onboard the station the crew will accomplish a wide range of scientific experiments in accordance with the program, work with Russian Progress and European ATV-5, American Orbital-2, Space X-4 and Dragon and Japanese HTV-5 Kounotori cargo vehicles, perform photo and video shooting, keep space blog, during one of the spacewalks the cosmonauts are going to launch Peru miscrosatellite and besides cosmonaut Skvortsov will celebrate his birthday onboard the station for the second time in his life.

The cosmonauts stay onboard the ISS for about 169 days.

ISS-39 mission crew members (Mikhail Tyurin, Koichi Wakata and rick Mastracchio) are already waiting for their colleagues.

The docking of the spacecraft with the ISS was firstly scheduled for 07.04 Moscow time but later it was postponed by 2 days since instead of short 6-hours rendezvous scheme the previous 2-days one will be used.

“No off-nominal situation, the crew feels well”, – Roscosmos representative reported . The docking was postponed due to the fact that onboard computer failed to issue command for Soyuz attitude control jets ignition. This won’t affect the crew members. Spacecraft computers will be rebooted, ballistics specialists recalculate the orbit, and the spacecraft will be oriented to the ISS, thrusters will be ignited and new crew will finally reach the ISS, – the spokesman stated.

After computer rebooting Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft will perform maneuver to form new ISS approaching orbit trajectory, – MCC representative said.

In the nearest time we’ll give a command to perform this maneuver. Control jets ignition won’t affect the crew.

According to preliminary data the docking is scheduled for March 28, 03.58 Moscow time.
Final maneuver on spacecraft orientation will take place on Friday.

According to Roscosmos the crew feels well, environment parameters are normal.

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