Mission Updates: Soyuz-FG – Expedition 31

A manned Soyuz TMA-04M Spacecraft launched with three astronauts headed to the International Space Station. Launch occurred on May 15th 2012 at 03:01 UTC.

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May 15th, 03:01 UTC
Successful Launch

May 15th 2012 – 03:11 UTC

The crew are now safely in orbit with the Soyuz Spacecraft now deploying the antennas and solar arrays.

May 15th 2012 – 03:09 UTC

The third stage has separated from the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft. The Soyuz Boosters job now complete.

May 15th 2012 – 03:06 UTC

The crew are fine and everything is nominal with today’s flight.

May 15th 2012 – 03:05 UTC

The core booster has separated with the third stage igniting.

May 15th 2012 – 03:03 UTC

The launch escape tower has jettisoned from the rocket, as has the fairing covering the Soyuz Spacecraft, The vehicle is travelling 4700 mph currently.

May 15th 2012 – 03:03 UTC

The four strap on boosters around the first stage have dropped away at 28 statute miles as planned.

May 15th 2012 – 03:03 UTC

Crew feel good as the Soyuz reaches Max-Q, The time where the maximum dynamic pressure is on the vehicle.

May 15th 2012 – 03:01 UTC

Lift off! The Soyuz booster with Soyuz TMA-04M Spacecraft has lifted off from Baikonur as the Expedition 31 crew head to the International Space Station.

May 15th 2012 – 03:00 UTC

The final launch towers are pulling back from the Soyuz booster, range is green, primary and backup systems ready for launch.

May 15th 2012 – 02:58 UTC

T-2 minutes to launch, Everything is nominal with the countdown.

May 15th 2012 – 02:41 UTC

The service structure is slowly lowering from each side of the Soyuz rocket.

May 15th 2012 – 01:50 UTC

The three cosmonauts arrived at the launch site a couple hours ago and are now seated in the Soyuz spacecraft which sits atop the fully fueled Soyuz booster as we near T-1 Hour.

May 13th 2012 – 14:20 UTC

The Soyuz TMA-04M Spacecraft mated with Soyuz booster was rolled out by train to the launch pad at Baikonur today ahead of launch, set for May 15th 2012 at 03:01 UTC, 09:01 Local time.

The launch will bring Expedition 31 crew members Gennady Padalka, Sergei Revin and Joe Acaba to the International Space Station to join André Kuipers, Oleg Kononenko and Don Pettit currently aboard the complex.

Photo Credit: NASA

May 13th 2012 – 09:25 UTC

Yesterday the freshly transported Soyuz TMA-04M Spacecraft was mated to the Soyuz-FG second stage before then being mated to the Soyuz-FG first stage and boosters. Rollout to the launch pad is due today.

Photo Credit: Energia

May 12th 2012 – 08:45 UTC

Yesterday the completed Soyuz TMA-04M Spacecraft in it’s payload fairing was transported from the Spacecraft Processing Facility to be mated with the Soyuz Booster ahead of rollout of the entire vehicle on Sunday May 13th.

Photo Credit: Energia

May 10th 2012 – 20:00 UTC

Videos of the crews arrival at the Baikonur launch site as well as the encapsulation of the Soyuz TMA-04M Spacecraft are now viewable at the bottom of this page.

May 8th 2012 – 19:00 UTC

Today, May 8th, The Payload fairing was lowered over the entire completed Soyuz Spacecraft, As preparations for launch on May 15th continue. The Soyuz Spacecraft is made up of three major components, The Orbital module allows space for the crew to move around during the flight to the International Space Station, it also contains the docking mechanism. The Descent Module is the only piece of spacecraft that returns to Earth and is where the crew are seated for launch and entry. Finally the Service Module is attached to the bottom of the Descent Module and contains avionics, engines, instrumentation and solar panels for electricity generation.

Photo Credit: Energia

May 1st 2012 – 16:05 UTC

A revised launch date of 03:01 UTC has been announced.

April 24th 2012 – 16:30 UTC

Final training of the three crew Expedition 31 took place in Baikonur, videos are available below. Launch is on track for the May 15th launch, The next big milestone will be the crew departure from Star City in Moscow to Baikonur, currently set to take place in the next few days.

Expedition 31 will be made up of NASA Astronaut Joseph M. Acaba and Russian Cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin. Sergei Revin will command the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft and is his fourth spaceflight, Gennady Padalka is making his first trip into space and will be Flight Engineer 1. NASA Astronaut Joseph Acaba will be Flight Engineer 2 on his second spaceflight, his first was STS-119.

Expedition 31 will be a short expedition, starting from the moment when Expedition 30 commander Dan Burbank departs the station April 27th with his crew, Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoli Ivanishin. Expedition 31 will then last until commander Oleg Kononenko departs July 1st with his crew, André Kuipers and Don Pettit.

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