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Soyuz TMA-12M docks International Space Station after 48 hours delay

28 March 2014, 05:15 -- Soyuz TMA-12M, carrying a new crew of astronauts for the International Space Station (ISS), has docked the ISS two days late, the RKA Mission Control Center chairman said. Carrier rocket Soyuz-FG with Soyuz TMA-12M joined to it, was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 8.17 pm GMT on Wednesday. The RKA Mission Control Center decided to postpone the docking, which was scheduled for March 26, till March 28.

"The crew didn't have to dock the rocket manually. The docking of Soyuz TMA-12M to the unit 'Poisk', which is a part of Russian ISS segment, was held automatically. The crew will enter the ISS as soon as the pressure in both, the ISS and Soyuz, is leveled and hatches are opened," the chairman said.

Vitaliy Lopota, Head of S.P. Korolyov Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, said that the computer changed a six-hour scheme of docking for the two-day scheme, after Soyuz TMA-12M didn't manage to perform a corrective maneuver to approach the ISS. This was the result of a software error. A special commission has launched an investigation to find the reasons of the error.

Soyuz spacecraft's orientation system operating properly after malfunction

Russia's Soyuz TMA-12M manned spacecraft, which blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan early on Wednesday morning, is using the routine two-day rendezvous technique to reach the International Space Station (ISS), the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos) said in a press release.

'The manned spacecraft's orientation system is now operating normally. The required adjustment of the manned spacecraft's orbit has been successful,' Roscosmos said.

According to earlier reports, the Soyuz TMA-12M had not been able to use a short six-hour route to reach the ISS due to a rendezvous burn failure during one of the legs of the flight, prompting the Mission Control Center to switch to a new flight profile that would allow for Soyuz to arrive in two days' time.

The two-day rendezvous technique 'is well-tested and guarantees the implantation of the rendezvous and docking tasks at the ISS,' it said.

'The next orbit adjustment to facilitate [the spacecraft's] automated docking has been set for March 27,' Roscosmos said.

The Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft is carrying Russia's Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev, as well as NASA astronaut Steven Swanson to the ISS.

Soyuz TMA-12M spacecraft successfully performs 2 orbital maneuvers for docking with ISS - Roscosmos

The Soyuz TMA-12M manned spacecraft that Russia launched from the Baikonur space center early on Wednesday has successfully performed two orbital maneuvers to reach an alternative trajectory for docking with the International Space Station (ISS), the Russian Federal Space Agency Roscosmos said.

'The Soyuz has successfully performed two maneuvers in the orbit in line with a new flight sequence. Hence, a new trajectory of its approach toward the ISS taking two days has been formed,' a Roscosmos spokesperson said.

It was reported earlier that the Soyuz's docking with the ISS scheduled for Wednesday morning was postponed because the spacecraft failed to perform a necessary maneuver.

Docking of Russian Soyuz rocket with ISS delayed by 48 hours

The docking of the Soyuz TMA-12M spaceship with the Interplanetary Space Station scheduled for 03:04 am GMT has been switched over from the fast 6-hour scheme to a 48-hour one.

The reasons will be announced in a few minutes, a representative of the mission control centre told RIA Novosti. There is no emergency situation, the astronauts are all right, he said.

As was reported earlier, a Soyuz-FG launch vehicle carrying a Soyuz TMA-12M spaceship with Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev (Roscosmos) and Steven Swanson (NASA) on board started from the Baikonur space centre at 01:17 Moscow time. The spaceship was put into orbit at 01:26 Moscow time. Docking with the ISS was scheduled for 07:04 Moscow time according to the short scheme.

It was reported that the new crew was to carry out an ambitious scientific programme in orbit, such as unloading Progress cargo ships, participation in the docking of an ATV-5 European space truck and its Japanese counterpart HTV-S Kounotori, as well as US ships Orbital-2 Cygnus and Space X-4 Dragon. In addition, the US segment of the ISS is to carry out an experiment with rodents, the first one in the history of the station.

The flight was scheduled to last for 169 days. The new crew is expected on board by ISS-39 flight engineer Mikhail Tyurin (Russia), ISS-39 mission commander Koichi Wakata (Japan) and ISS-39 flight engineer Richard Mastracchio (the US).

Voice of Russia, RIA, Interfax

Source: http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_03_28/Soyuz-TMA- 12M-docks-International-Space-Station-9173/

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