Soyuz TMA-8 docks with the ISS

by Chris Bergin

The Russian Soyuz TMA-8 (12S) with Expedition 13 crewmembers Pavel Vinogradov and Jeffrey Williams, as well as Brazilian “taxi cosmonaut” Marcos Cesar Pontes – Visiting Crewmember 10 (VC10) – docked with the International Space Station (ISS), Friday night at 11:18pm EST (7:18am DMT/Moscow on Saturday).

A video replay of the docking and hatch opening is now available on the live event pages (read “more” for links).


**DOCKING: VIDEO REPLAY** (Video section is FREE, but you need to sign up as a member of the forum to enter the video section of the site. We only use your e-mail to send you your password. It will not be used for spam etc.)  


The three crew members of the Soyuz TMA-8 launched on Thursday morning UTC, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at dawn on Thursday (9:30pm Eastern, Wednesday) – en-route for orbital operations activities.

Starting yesterday with crew wakeup on Orbit 12, attitude was built, executing the DV3 burn, placing Soyuz back in its sun-spinning ‘barbecue’ attitude, which keeps the Soyuz solar panels in alignment with the Sun.

Earlier today, the crewmembers put on their Sokol suits and PKO biomed harnesses, and transferred to the Habitation Module, closing the hatch to the Descent Module.

Today also saw the DV4 and DV5 burns – with up to three additional adjustment burns to occur during automated rendezvous, before the Soyuz performs a fly-around of the ISS to align with the FGB nadir port.

Final approach will be concluded on Orbit 34 by docking – with Soyuz hooks closure and capture.

Hatch Opening

After leak checks were concluded, the three visitors entered the ISS to be greeted by
Russian cosmonaut Valery Tokarev and NASA astronaut William McArthur, who are coming to the end of their six month stay on Expedition 13.

They are set to return to Earth on April 8, along with Pontes.


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