Thank you for your interest!

Add free and premium widgets by Addwater Agency to your Tumblelog!

To hide the widget button after installing the theme:

  1. Visit your Tumblr blog's customization page (typically found at
  2. Click on Appearance.
  3. Click Hide Widget Button.
  4. Click on Save+Close.

For more information visit our How-To's page.

Questions? Visit us at

[close this window]

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 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.

(Sources: 1 & 2)

Day 2 of Soyuz TMA-06M exams, with the prime crew in the Soyuz simulator and the backups in the ISS simulator. Once again all passed with 5’s. A few of the things the crew had to contend with in the Soyuz: failure of the 3rd stage to separate during launch, a broken pressure valve, and a leak in the fuel system. Here’s a video too.


The first day of final exams happened today for the crews of Soyuz TMA-06M. The Prime crew (Oleg Novitsky, Yevgeny Tarelkin, Kevin Ford) was in the ISS Russian segment simulator. The backup crew (Pavel Vinogradov, Aleksandr Misurkin, Christopher Cassidy) was in the Soyuz simulator. The crew commander chooses a sealed envelope with a set of problems (sensor failures, fires, etc.) that the crew encounter during the test. Each crew member signs the envelope. They don’t know what these are until the test. Both crews passed their exams with 5 out of 5!


The Soyuz TMA-05M crews had their final exams over the past two days. They both passed their Soyuz and ISS tests.

(Sources: 1, 2)


Expedition 31 Preflight

Expedition 31 NASA flight engineer Joe Acaba, Soyuz Commander Gennady Padalka and flight engineer Sergei Revin pose for photos before entering the Soyuz TMA spacecraft mockup for their final qualification test in preparation for flight, Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Star City, Russia. Acaba, Padalka and Revin are set to launch to the International Space Station May 15 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

If anyone’s curious, these guys passed their Soyuz exam with a rating of excellent, which I’m presuming is a 5. The backup crew received a 4.8 in the ISS simulator. The crews of Soyuz TMA-04M are ready!

The crews of Soyuz TMA-04M had the first round of final exams today. The prime crew (Gennady Padalka, Sergei Revin, Joe Acaba) was tested on the Russian ISS segment and the backup crew (Oleg Novitsky, Yevgeny Tarelkin, Kevin Ford) was in the Soyuz simulator. They both passed with scores of 4.8 (prime) and 4.7 (backup) out of a possible 5. Soyuz TMA-04M is scheduled for launch on May 15.


The crew of Soyuz TMA-03M have passed their final tests. They had the Russian ISS segment test on Nov 29 and the Soyuz test on the following day.

The crew commander choses one sealed envelope that has a set of off-nominal situations that the crew encounter during the test. Each crew member signs the envelope. They don’t know what these are until the test.

Oleg Kononenko, André Kuipers(ESA) and Don Pettit(NASA) launch on Dec 21.

(Sources: 1, 2&3)

Chronicling the adventures of Soviet and Russian cosmonauts

(and unmanned programs too!)