EXPEDITION 42/43 CREW READY FOR LAUNCH

Expedition 36 Soyuz TMA-09M Rollout

Photo Credit & Copyright: NASA/Bill Ingalls rollout of TMA-09M.  See below for more links than you will need to include where to stream the launch live.

Sunday, November 23rd, at 21:01 UTC (16:01 EST) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan a Soyuz-FG rocket; TMA-15M (Soyuz 41) will be lifting off from Launch Pad 31/Launcher 6 (LC 31/6). TMA-15M will carry three crew members of Expedition 42/43 to the International Space Station (ISS) on a four orbit, 6 hour “fast-track” launch to docking flight which began manned operations on TMA-08M on March 28, 2013.

The crew will dock with the Russian Mini Research module-1 (MRM-1) Rassvet “Dawn” Module on Monday morning (Sunday night in the U.S.) and that capsule will remain there for approximately 6 months as a crew escape vehicle and ultimately a return vehicle.

Docking coverage begins at 21:15 EST with docking scheduled for 21:53 EST.

Hatch opening coverage begins at 23:00 EST with hatch opening scheduled for 23:30.

This flight, like the last will create a bit of history as Samamntha Christoforetti will become the first Italian woman to fly into space and climb onboard station. ESA is marking the event with a special patch and mission name; “FUTURA.”

Want to see the ISS overhead? Here’s everything you need! https://danspace77.com/iss-tracking/

CREW OF TMA-15M (Soyuz 41):

NASA astronaut Terry Virts:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AstroTerry

Instagram: http://instagram.com/astro_terry

Roscosmos cosmonaut Anton Shkaplerov:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AntonAstrey

ESA astronaut Samantha Christoforetti:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AstroSamantha

 

THEY WILL JOIN:

Roscosmos cosmonaut and ISS Commander, Alexander Samokutyaev:

NASA astronaut Barry Wilmore:

Roscosmos cosmonaut Elena Serova:

*This will fulfill Expedition 42 which began on November 10, 2014 with the undocking of TMA-13M. These three newest crewmembers will begin Expedition 43 on a later date.

SUPERSTISION & TRADITION: Just some the seemingly endless tradition and superstition; Before leaving Star City near Moscow, the crew leaves red roses at the memorial wall which commemorates Gagarin and the 4 other fallen Russian cosmonauts.

They also visit Gagarin’s office, sign his guest book and ask his ghost for permission to fly before heading to the Cosmonaut Hotel in Baikonur. Behind it, a road of trees planted by former crews. Before launch the crew will add their three trees as well. The Soyuz rollout begins at 0700 Baikonur Time as it has done since the Gagarin Flight on April 12, 1961.

The rollout is not allowed to be watched by the primary crew as it is considered bad luck. To help with good luck, technicians flatten coins on the tracks. The rocket will also be blessed by an Orthodox Priest before flight. Anointing the rocket began in 1994 at the request of cosmonaut Alexander Viktorenko before his TM-20 launch to MIR. One of the few traditions not started with Yuri.

The main crew will, before flight, get a haircut and watch the 1969 movie “White Sun of the Desert.” Suit up happens in a tiny room, on display relatively close to onlookers from behind glass. Before leaving the hotel for the launch pad the crew is blessed and they sip wine at breakfast.

As they leave, they sign the door of their room and they are played the song, “The Green Grass Near My Home” which speaks of a cosmonauts love of Earth.

The bus, which has horseshoes on it makes a stop and the crew partakes in a tradition again, started by Gagarin himself; urination of the right rear wheel of the bus. When they finally reach the launch pad they are presented with the talisman in the form of a stuffed animal to be hung from inside the Soyuz capsule for the flight. Also, there are no launches on October 24. And that’s just for LAUNCH! Never mind the landing ritual.

THE ROCKET: Russian Roscosmos Soyuz FG is a three-stage (sort of), medium lift rocket developed and manufactured by the Progress State Research and Production Rocket Space Center (TSsKB Progress). The FG was introduced in 2001 to deliver humans to the International Space Station (ISS). It’s derived from the Soyuz U rocket which is the most flown rocket in history with almost 800 launches and delivered Progress vehicles to the ISS until the recent addition of the Soyuz 2.   The Soyuz “Union” rocket family is the most used space launch system in history with more than 1700 launches and traces its roots back to 1957 in the form of the Soviet R7 missile.

THIRD STAGE (Assembly 1): The third stage, which would really be a second stage on other rockets is 6.7 m in length and 2.6 m in diameter and is powered by a single RD-0110 engine in a four thrust chamber configuration. It utilizes Kerosene fuel and Liquid Oxygen oxidizer and burns for about 230 seconds.  

SECOND STAGE (Core Unit): The core stage of the Soyuz is odd in the fact that it burns during the first and second stage of the rocket. As the rocket lifts off, it and the boosters work together as the first stage then after the strap on boosters are jettisoned the core stage continues to operate as the then second stage.

The core (1st & 2nd stage) stage is 27.1 m in length and 2.95 m in diameter and is powered by a single RD-108A engine in a four cruise thrust chamber configuration. It utilizes Kerosene fuel, Liquid Oxygen oxidizer and burns for a total of about 280-290 seconds. Attitude control is powered by four Vernier thrusters.

FIRST STAGE/BOOSTERS (Lateral Assembly): The Soyuz is equipped with four strap-on boosters that are used during first stage flight. They are each 19.6 m in length and 2.68 m in diameter and are each powered by a single RD-107A engine four cruise thrust chamber configuration. They utilize Kerosene fuel and Liquid Oxygen oxidizer and burn for approximately 118 seconds. Attitude control is powered by two Vernier thrusters.

STREAM THE LAUNCH LIVE: Coverage begins at 20:00 UTC (15:00 EST).

Live Streaming Feed (NASA TV): http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

NASA TV on Ustream: http://www.ustream.tv/nasahdtv

NASA TV on LiveStream: http://www.livestream.com/nasa

Live Streaming Feed (Tsenki): http://www.tsenki.com/en/broadcast/

NASA ISS expedition 42 crew: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/expedition42/

ESA Samantha Christoforetti’s “Futura” mission: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Human_Spaceflight/Astronauts/Samantha_s_mission_has_a_name_Futura

TSENKI Soyuz-FG page: http://www.tsenki.com/en/launch_services/help_information/launch_vehicles/view/?SECTION_ID=149&ELEMENT_ID=86335

NASA’s HDEV 24hr LIVE streaming feed from the ISS: https://danspace77.com/2014/05/07/nasahdev-deliver-live-streaming-view-of-earth-from-the-iss/

NASA ISS main mission page: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/main/

NASA ISS multimedia pages: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/multimedia/index.html

NASA ISS Photos (All the photos you will ever need from the ISS): http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/index.html

NASA “2 Explore” Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/

NASA “HQ Photostream” Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasahqphoto/

NASA “Goddard” Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/

NASA Spaceflight TMA-15M: http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=31414.0

Roscosmos homepage: http://www.federalspace.ru/

 

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