Expedition 55/56 Crew Ready for Launch

Images credit & copyright: Roscosmos/NASA.

Launch Alert! Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 13:44 EDT (17:44 UTC & 23:44 Baikonur time) a Soyuz-FG rocket; MS-08 (ISS 54S or Soyuz 56) will lift off from Launch Pad 1/Launcher 5 (LC 1/5) at the legendary Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The Soyuz spacecraft will carry three crew members of Expedition 55/56 on a two-day, 34 orbit trip to the International Space Station (ISS) vs. the now normal six-hour, four-orbit “fast-track” launch to docking.   This will be the 8th flight of the upgraded MS Soyuz which replaced the TMA series.

Soyuz MS-08 will dock to the nadir, (Earth facing) port of the Russian Mini Research Module-2 (MRM-2) Poisk “Search” module where it will remain there for approximately 6 months as a crew escape vehicle should they need it and ultimately a return vehicle.

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

CREW OF: Soyuz MS-08, Soyuz 56, ISS 54S or Expedition 55/56:

NASA astronaut, Andrew Feustel:

NASA bio: https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/biographies/andrew-j-feustel/biography

NASA JSC bio: https://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/feustel-aj.pdf

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Astro_Feustel

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/Astro_Feustel/

Roscosmos cosmonaut, Oleg Artemyev:

NASA JSC bio: https://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/artemiev.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OlegMKS

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/olegmks/

NASA astronaut, Ricky Arnold:

NASA bio: https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/biographies/richard-r-arnold/biography

NASA JSC bio: https://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/arnold-rr.pdf

Twitter: https://twitter.com/astro_ricky

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/astro_ricky/

THEY WILL JOIN:

NASA astronaut, Scott Tingle “Maker”:

NASA bio: https://www.nasa.gov/astronauts/biographies/scott-d-tingle

NASA JSC bio: https://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/tingle.pdf

Roscosmos bio: https://www.energia.ru/en/iss/iss54/tingle.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Astro_Maker

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/astro_maker/

Roscosmos cosmonaut, Anton Shkaplerov:

Roscosmos bio: https://www.energia.ru/en/iss/iss54/shkaplerov.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Anton_Astrey

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anton_astrey/

JAXA astronaut, Norishige Kanai:

JAXA bio: http://iss.jaxa.jp/en/astro/biographies/kanai/index.html

Roscosmos bio: https://www.energia.ru/en/iss/iss54/kanai.html

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Astro_Kanai?lang=en

Photo Credit (NASA/Bill Ingalls)

TsSKB-Progress Soyuz FG Rocket:

The FG was introduced in 2001 to deliver humans to the International Space Station (ISS) and is derived from the Soyuz U rocket which is the most flown rocket in history with almost 800 launches and has 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 and the Soviet R-7 missile family. The Soyuz FG launches from the Baikonur Cosmodrome’s Pad 1/Launcher 5 (LC 1/5) and Pad 31/Launcher 6 (LC 31/6). TsSKB-Progress Soyuz FG Rocket is operated by RKK Energia and Roscosmos.

Height: 49.5 m (162.4 ft.)

Core Diameter: 2.95 m (9.8 ft.)

Width at Base: 10.3 m (34 ft.)

Stages: 2 or 3

Boosters: 4

Total Engines: 6 (5 in the first stage and 1 in the second stage)

Total Thrust (sea level): 792.5 kN (178,160 lbf.)

Total Thrust (vacuum): 990.2 kN (222,600 lbf.)

Gross Mass: 305,000 kg (672,000 lb.)

Payload to Low Earth Orbit (LEO): 6,900 kg (15,212 lb.)

Sun Synchronous Orbit (SSO): 4,500 kg (9,900 lb.)

Payload to Geostationary Transfer Orbit (GTO): 3,250 kg. (7,170 lb.)

Payload to Geostationary Earth Orbit (GEO): 1,440 kg. (3,170 lb.)

Cost: About $60 million per launch

RKK Energia Soyuz-MS Spacecraft: The Soyuz-MS spacecraft is the newest iteration of the Soyuz spacecraft as it replaced the Soyuz-TMA spacecraft in 2016. Soyuz-MS has a volume of 10.5 m (370 cu ft.) and carries a crew of three to and from the International Space Station (ISS) making it, along with China’s Shenzhou spacecraft, one of only two human rated spacecraft in operation today. Soyuz is also one of only two spacecraft that can return items from space with SpaceX’s Dragon being the other.

Soyuz spacecraft are comprised of three parts:

Orbital Module or Bitovoy otsek (BO): The bow (front) of the ship. This section is where the docking port and hatch are as well as a small bathroom, docking avionics and a small window. During reentry the orbital module separates first.

Reentry Module or Spuskaemiy apparat (SA): This is where the crew sits during launch and landing and is the only section of the Soyuz spacecraft that survives reentry. Shaped like a bell or “headlight,” the heat shield is at the back (widest part) to aid in controlled reentry while at the forward end is the airlock that before separation connects to the orbital module. The crew sits facing forward with their backs to the heat shield. During reentry, the spacecraft is slowed greatly by aerobraking in Earth’s atmosphere. A pilot chute then deploys to pull open the braking (drogue) parachute which stabilizes and slows Soyuz from about 755 fps to about 262 fps. Then the main chute deploys which slows Soyuz to about 24 fps. The harnesses on the main chute keeps the reentry module at a 30 degree angle to bleed off heat before allowing the capsule to shift to a straight vertical descent. About 1 m (2.6 ft.) before touchdown; six solid fueled braking rockets fire from behind the heat shield, slowing descent to 1.5 m (5 ft.) a second to touchdown.

Service Module or Priborno-Agregatniy Otsek (PAO): The stern (aft) section of the Soyuz spacecraft. This section houses the temperature control systems, electric power systems, radio communication systems, telemetry and orientation control systems which keep the solar arrays always facing the Sun. The PAO also houses the solar arrays, main engine, spare engine as well as propulsion systems for orbital maneuvering and descent and all fuel for those systems.

Third Stage (Block 1): You will notice a lattice-like framework between the second (core) stage and the third stage. That’s because third stage ignition utilizes a “hot fire” ignition where it ignites just before second stage separation.

Height: 6.7 m. (22 ft.)

Diameter: 2.66 m (8.8 ft.)

Engine(s): 1 RD-0110

Engine Chambers: 4

Engine Type: Gas generator/Open-cycle

Propellant Feed: Turbopump

Chamber Pressure: 68.2 bar

Fuel Type: Liquid

Fuel: Rocket propellant-1 (RP-1) or highly refined kerosene. Lower specific impulse than liquid hydrogen (LH2) but is cheaper, room temperature stable, less explosive and denser. RP-1 is much more powerful than LH2 by volume and much less toxic than other room temperature fuels such as hydrazine (N2H4).

Oxidizer: Liquid Oxygen (LOX). LOX is often coupled with rocket propellant-1 (RP-1), liquid hydrogen (LH2) and methane (CH4) as it creates a high specific impulse.

Single RD-0110 Thrust (vacuum): 298 kN (67 lbf.

Specific Impulse (vacuum): 326 s

Burn Time: 230 s

Restart Ability: No

Reusable: No

Strap-On Boosters (1st stage):

Height: 19.6 m. (64 ft.)

Diameter: 2.68 m (8.8 ft.)

Engine(s): Each has 1 RD-107A

Engine Type: Gas generator/Open-cycle

Propellant Feed: Turbopump

Engine Chambers: 4

Chamber Pressure: 61.2 bar

Fuel Type: Liquid

Fuel: Rocket propellant-1 (RP-1) or highly refined kerosene. Lower specific impulse than liquid hydrogen (LH2) but is cheaper, room temperature stable, less explosive and denser. RP-1 is much more powerful than LH2 by volume and much less toxic than other room temperature fuels such as hydrazine (N2H4).

Oxidizer: Liquid Oxygen (LOX). LOX is often coupled with rocket propellant-1 (RP-1), liquid hydrogen (LH2) and methane (CH4) as it creates a high specific impulse.

Single RD-107A Thrust (sea level/vacuum): 838.5 kN (188,502 lbf.)/1,021 kN (229,529 lbf.

Specific Impulse (sea level/vacuum): 263 s/320 s

Burn Time: 120 s

Restart Ability: No

Reusable?: No

Core Stage “Blok A” (1st & 2nd stage): Core stage RD-108A ignites roughly 17 seconds before liftoff to allow the engine’s turbopumps to reach flight speed spin. 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 second stage.

Height: 27.8 m. (90 ft.)

Diameter: 2.95 m (9.8 ft.)

Engine(s): 1 RD-108A

Engine Type: Gas generator/Open-cycle

Propellant Feed: Turbopump

Engine Chambers: 4

Chamber Pressure: 55.5 bar

Fuel Type: Liquid

Fuel: Rocket propellant-1 (RP-1) or highly refined kerosene. Lower specific impulse than liquid hydrogen (LH2) but is cheaper, room temperature stable, less explosive and denser. RP-1 is much more powerful than LH2 by volume and much less toxic than other room temperature fuels such as hydrazine (N2H4).

Oxidizer: Liquid Oxygen (LOX). LOX is often coupled with rocket propellant-1 (RP-1), liquid hydrogen (LH2) and methane (CH4) as it creates a high specific impulse.

Single RD-108A Thrust (sea level/vacuum): 792 kN (178,049 lbf.)/990 kN (222,561 lbf.

Specific Impulse (sea level/vacuum): 258 s/321 s

Burn Time: 280 s

Restart Ability: No

Reusable?: No

Watch Live:

Launch coverage: Wednesday, March 21 at 12:45 EDT (16:45 UTC).

Docking coverage: Friday, March 23 at 15:41 EDT (19:41 UTC).

Hatch opening coverage: Friday, March 23 at 17:00 EDT (21:00 UTC).

NASA TV: http://www.nasa.gov/ntv

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

NASA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NASA/

NASA YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/NASA

NASA TV schedule: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/nasatv/schedule.html

Mission Information:

NASA Expedition 55/56 press release: https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/nasa-television-coverage-set-for-space-station-crew-launch-docking

NASA ISS Expeditions: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/expeditions/index.html

RSC Energia MS-08 Images: https://www.energia.ru/english/

NASA HQ Exp. 55 Images:

NASA Johnson Exp. 55 Images: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nasa2explore/albums/72157679671299912

Soyuz MS-08 Wiki: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_MS-08

NASA Blogs ISS: https://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/

General 2018 Launch List: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_in_spaceflight

General ISS Pages:

All NASA Social Media: https://www.nasa.gov/socialmedia

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 Blog: http://blogs.nasa.gov/spacestation/

ISS Main Twitter: https://twitter.com/Space_Station

ISS Research Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISS_Research

ISS CASIS Twitter: https://twitter.com/ISSCASIS?lang=en

ISS Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ISS

ISS CASIS Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISSCASIS

ISS Instagram: http://instagram.com/iss

ISS CASIS Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iss_casis/

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/

Great ISS schedule page: http://spaceflight101.com/iss/iss-calendar/

All ISS Expeditions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_International_Space_Station_expeditions

All Russian manned missions: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Russian_manned_space_missions

Roscosmos:

Main Site: http://en.roscosmos.ru/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Roscosmos

Twitter: https://twitter.com/roscosmos

Instagram: http://instagram.com/roscosmosofficial

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/roscosmos/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/tvroscosmos

S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation “RSC Energia”

Main Site: http://www.energia.ru/english/index.html

Progress Rocket Space Centre (TsSKB): 

Website: http://www.en.samspace.ru/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ProgressSamara

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ProgressSamara

Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/1/106131782714139419453/posts

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/ProgressSamara

Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (GCTC):

Website: http://www.gctc.su/

Soyuz Rocket & Soyuz Spacecraft & Progress Spacecraft:

Soyuz Rocket Family: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_(rocket_family)

Soyuz 2 Rocket: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz-2#Soyuz-2.1a

Soyuz 2 Rocket: http://spaceflight101.com/spacerockets/soyuz-2-1b/

Soyuz Spacecraft: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_(spacecraft)

Soyuz MS Spacecraft: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soyuz_MS

Soyuz Spacecraft Launch List: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Soyuz_missions

Progress Spacecraft: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Progress_(spacecraft)

Progress Spacecraft Launch List: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Progress_missions

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