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.
The Soyuz TMA-08M crew, Pavel Vinogradov, Aleksandr Misurkin and Christopher Cassidy, flew to the Baikonur Cosmodrome for launch preparations. Yesterday they got their first view of their soyuz and had the first leak check in their sokol suits. They launch on 28 March.
Today is International Women’s Day! Despite having the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova in 1963, Russia has only sent two other women into space. Svetlana Savitskaya made a trip to Salyut 7 in 1982 and became the first woman to perform a spacewalk in 1984. Yelena Kondakova was the first woman to be part of a long-duration mission on Mir in 1994. These were just those that made it into space, there were many other women selected.
Yelena Serova and Anna Kikina are part of the active group of cosmonauts. Serova will be part of ISS expeditions 41 and 42 starting in Sept 2014. Kikina is new, she was selected in Oct 2012 and is in basic training for the next two years.
The crews of Soyuz TMA-08M had the first part of their final exams today. The prime crew of Pavel Vinogradov, Aleksandr Misurkin and Christopher Cassidy were in the ISS simulator and the backup crew of Oleg Kotov, Sergei Ryazansky and Michael Hopkins were in the Soyuz. Both crews received top marks. Soyuz TMA-08M launches for the ISS on March 28.
The Soyuz 9 crew, Andriyan Nikolayev and Vitaly Sevastyanov, played the first chess game across space. They played against Earth, a team that consisted of Nikolai Kaminin, head of the Cosmonaut Training Center and cosmonaut Viktor Gorbatko. The game was played on a day off for the crew and ended in a draw. You can see how the game was played here. (June 1970)
The flight of Soyuz 38 had the first black person in space aboard, Cuban Arnaldo Tamayo Méndez. He flew as part of the Interkosmos program, which allowed nations friendly with the Soviet Union to fly in space. The crew, including commander Yuri Romanenko, spent time on the Salyut 6 station. (18-26 September 1980)
Aleksandr Serebrov turns 69 today. He was selected in 1978 from the design bureau Energiya and has made four flights into space. He became the first to use the Soviet SPK, an astronaut propulsion unit, to leave the Mir space station in 1990, as seen here. After retiring in 1995 from the cosmonaut group, Serebrov worked for the Russian secretary of defence.