RSC Energia: Spacecraft Soyuz МS-03 delivered the crew to the ISS
November 21, 2016
On Sunday, November 20th, the transportation manned spacecraft of the new modification Soyuz МС-03 with the crew of the next long-duration expedition successfully docked to the International Space Station (ISS).
ROSCOSMOS cosmonaut Oleg NOVITSKY, ESA astronaut Thomas PESQUET and NASA astronaut Peggy WHITSON were delivered by the spacecraft to the ISS.
The launch vehicle Soyuz-FG with the manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz MS-03 was launched from Site No.1 “Gagarin’s launch pad” of the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 23:20:13 Moscow time. The spacecraft Soyuz MS-03 separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle nominally at the expected time and started to approach the ISS using a classic 34-orbit rendezvous profile.
After about two days in free flight the spacecraft reached the station. The docking with the Mini Research Module (MRM1) Rassvet was performed in the automatic mode. The contact of the vehicles was detected at 00:58:17, the spacecraft hooks closed at 01:04:06 Moscow time. The rendezvous and docking used the improved RF system Kurs-NA.
After performing preparatory operations (removing and drying spacesuits, performing a leak test of compartments and the docking interface, equalizing pressure, etc.), transfer hatches between the spacecraft and the ISS were open, and the newly arrived crewmembers transferred to the station. There were be met by ROSCOSMOS cosmonaut Sergey RYZHIKOV, ROSCOSMOS cosmonaut Andrei BORISENKO and NASA astronaut Robert Shane KIMBROUGH.
The international crew will take part in the flight test of the upgraded spacecraft, including tests of the new systems, i.e. onboard radio system, combined propulsion system, motion control and navigation system, television system. During the ISS-50/51 Expedition operations with transport cargo vehicles of Progress MS series are planned, including testing of proximity operations in the remote teleoperator control mode by Progress MS moving apart from the ISS, stationkeeping and final approach. The crew will be also involved in operations with the US cargo vehicle Dragon, Japanese cargo vehicle HTV, undocking of spacecraft Soyuz MS-02 with three ISS-49/50 crewmembers from MRM2 and docking of Soyuz MS-04 with the ISS-51 and ISS-52 Expedition crewmembers to MRM2. Planned are activities on the station maintenance, outfitting, performance of applied scientific research and experiments (many of which were set up by RSC Energia specialists), onboard photo and video imagery. The applied scientific research program envisages 44 scientific experiments in various areas like bio-medical, geophysical, biotechnological, etc. The total planned duration of the crew flight will be 180 days.
The upgraded manned transportation spacecraft Soyuz MS developed and built by RSC Energia is designed to deliver the crews of up to three and their accompanying cargos to the International Space Station (ISS), as well as to return them to Earth. When attached to the ISS, it also serves as a crew rescue vehicle and is kept permanently ready for emergency crew return to Earth. The new-series spacecraft Progress MS and Soyuz MS were developed as a result of a radical upgrade of Progress M and Soyuz TMA spacecraft. Most of the technical solutions laid down in Soyuz MS and Progress MS spacecraft design will be used in development of new-generation manned transportation spacecraft Federatsiya being developed by RSC Energia.
The Russian Mini Research Module Rassvet (MRM-1) was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis in STS-132 mission on May 14, 2010. The module developed and produced by RSC Energia is used for research investigations and cargo storage. Specifically, it serves as a laboratory for preforming experiments in the area of biotechnology, biology, fluid physics and educational investigations. Rassvet is also used as an additional docking port for Soyuz and Progress spacecraft arriving to the station. The module mass is about 5 tons, the length is 5.9 meters, the diameter is 2.2 meters. http://www.energia.ru/en/iss/iss50/photo_11-21.html