Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 284

Soyuz TMA-04M



Patch Soyuz TMA-04M Patch Soyuz TMA-04M

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Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  15.05.2012
Launch time:  03:01:22.968 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  406 - 427 km
Inclination:  51.65°
Docking ISS:  17.05.2012, 04:35:56 UTC
Undocking ISS:  16.09.2012, 23:08:53 UTC
Landing date:  17.09.2012
Landing time:  02:52:51.9 UTC
Landing site:  50°59'11,6" N, 67°15'22,2" E

walkout photo

Crew Sojus TMA-04M

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No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Padalka  Gennadi Ivanovich  Commander 4 124d 23h 51m 30s  1946 
2  Revin  Sergei Nikolayevich  Flight Engineer 1 124d 23h 51m 30s  1946 
3  Acaba  Joseph Michael  Flight Engineer 2 124d 23h 51m 30s  1946 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Padalka
2  Revin
3  Acaba
Soyuz TMA spacecraft
1  Padalka
2  Revin
3  Acaba

Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Novitsky  Oleg Viktorovich  Commander
2  Tarelkin  Yevgeni Igorevich  Flight Engineer
3  Ford  Kevin Anthony  Flight Engineer
Crew Soyuz TMA-04M backup
Patch Soyuz TMA-04M backup

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Launch vehicle:  Soyuz-FG (No. 6M135S L15000-041)
Spacecraft:  Soyuz TMA-04M (TMA-M No. 705)


Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Landing 85 km NE of Arkalyk. ISS Expedition 31 / 32.

Following a two-day solo flight Soyuz TMA-04M docked to ISS on May 17, 2012. Gennadi Padalka, Sergei Revin and Joseph Acaba became the ISS Expedition 31 (together with ISS Expedition 30 crew members Oleg Kononenko, André Kuipers and Donald Pettit).

The Soyuz spacecraft is composed of three elements attached end-to-end - the Orbital Module, the Descent Module and the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module. The crew occupied the central element, the Descent Module. The other two modules are jettisoned prior to re-entry. They burn up in the atmosphere, so only the Descent Module returned to Earth.
The deorbit burn lasted 253 seconds. Having shed two-thirds of its mass, the Soyuz reached Entry Interface - a point 400,000 feet (121.9 kilometers) above the Earth, where friction due to the thickening atmosphere began to heat its outer surfaces. With only 23 minutes left before it lands on the grassy plains of central Asia, attention in the module turned to slowing its rate of descent.
Eight minutes later, the spacecraft was streaking through the sky at a rate of 755 feet (230 meters) per second. Before it touched down, its speed slowed to only 5 feet (1.5 meter) per second, and it lands at an even lower speed than that. Several onboard features ensure that the vehicle and crew land safely and in relative comfort.
Four parachutes, deployed 15 minutes before landing, dramatically slowed the vehicle's rate of descent. Two pilot parachutes were the first to be released, and a drogue chute attached to the second one followed immediately after. The drogue, measuring 24 square meters (258 square feet) in area, slowed the rate of descent from 755 feet (230 meters) per second to 262 feet (80 meters) per second.
The main parachute was the last to emerge. It is the largest chute, with a surface area of 10,764 square feet (1,000 square meters). Its harnesses shifted the vehicle's attitude to a 30-degree angle relative to the ground, dissipating heat, and then shifted it again to a straight vertical descent prior to landing.
The main chute slowed the Soyuz to a descent rate of only 24 feet (7.3 meters) per second, which is still too fast for a comfortable landing. One second before touchdown, two sets of three small engines on the bottom of the vehicle fired, slowing the vehicle to soften the landing.

Graphics / Photos

Soyuz TMA spacecraft Soyuz TMA landing module
crew in training Soyuz TMA-04M integration
Soyuz TMA-04M rollout Soyuz TMA-04M erection
Soyuz TMA-04M on launch pad Soyuz TMA-04M on launch pad
Soyuz TMA-04M launch Soyuz TMA-04M launch
Soyuz TMA-04M launch Soyuz TMA-04M landing
Soyuz TMA-04M landing Soyuz TMA-04M recovery
Soyuz TMA-04M recovery  


Last update on March 29, 2020.