Watch Soyuz TMA-07M land tonight! You can watch here. Here’s the schedule:
- Undocking from ISS: 7:08 pm ET (4:08 pm PT)
- Deorbit burn: 9:37 pm ET (6:37 pm PT)
- Landing near Dzhezkazgan, Kazakhstan: 10:31 pm ET (7:31 pm PT)
I’m sorry I haven’t been around lately, but I should be back to regular posting soon. And I’m working tonight, so I won’t be able to liveblog this landing.
The launch of Soyuz TMA-08M. According to tradition, the crew sign their room doors and are blessed by a Russian Orthodox priest. The crew then put on their sokol suits, have them checked for leaks and head out to the launch pad. After launch, the crew made the first expedited docking after only six hours, instead of two days.
Soyuz TMA-08M launches today! The rocket is scheduled to take off at 4:43 pm ET (1:43 pm PT). This is the first manned Soyuz that will have a quick rendezvous to the International Space Station. Instead of taking two days to reach the ISS, it will only take six hours after launch. The docking is scheduled at 10:32 pm ET (7:32 pm PT) with hatch opening at 12:10 a.m. ET March 29 (9:10 pm PT March 28)
You can watch here.
Maksim Surayev, Gregory Wiseman (NASA) and Alexander Gerst (Germany) participated in winter survival training. This simulates what it would be like if the Soyuz landed in winter and the rescue team could not reach the crew for a couple of days. This crew will be part of ISS expeditions 40/41 starting in May 2014.
Georgi Beregovoy with American astronaut, Frank Borman. Nikolai Kaminin, head of the training center, related an anecdote in his diary about the Bormans’ trip to the Soviet Union in July 1969. While discussing the amended schedule as their plane had been delayed, Borman’s wife was worried about going to Novosibirsk, in Siberia. “Isn’t it cold there?” She had to be reassured that it was actually 32°C (89°F), warmer than Moscow at the time.
The Soyuz TMA-07M crew participated in some pre-launch traditions yesterday. They signed the guest book in Yuri Gagarin’s office, then visited Moscow’s Red Square. They laid flowers for Yuri Gagarin and Sergei Korolyov interred in the Kremlin wall and toured around the Kremlin.
The next Soyuz crew (Roman Romanenko, Chris Hadfield and Thomas Marshburn) had their final exams at Star City. Yesterday they were in the Russian ISS segment simulator and today they were in the Soyuz simulator. They went through regular operations as well as anomalies, such as the ISS depressurizing or failure of Kurs, the Russian telemetry system that guides the Soyuz to dock. Soyuz TMA-07M is scheduled to launch on Dec. 19.
Some interesting facts: everyone on the crew can play the guitar. Romanenko is the third second-generation spacefarer. His father Yuri Romanenko is also musical, he wrote music while on Mir in 1987.