Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 287

Soyuz TMA-06M



Patch Soyuz TMA-06M Patch Soyuz TMA-06M

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Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  23.10.2012
Launch time:  10:51:10.934 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  31
Altitude:  402 - 417 km
Inclination:  51.65°
Docking ISS:  25.10.2012, 12:29:32 UTC
Undocking ISS:  15.03.2013, 23:42:53 UTC
Landing date:  16.03.2013
Landing time:  03:06:13.2 UTC
Landing site:  50°45'25" N, 67°20'32" E

walkout photo

Crew Soyuz TMA-06M

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alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo


No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Novitsky  Oleg Viktorovich  Commander 1 143d 16h 15m 02s  2233 
2  Tarelkin  Yevgeni Igorevich  Flight Engineer 1 143d 16h 15m 02s  2233 
3  Ford  Kevin Anthony  Flight Engineer 2 143d 16h 15m 02s  2233 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Novitsky
2  Tarelkin
3  Ford
Soyuz TMA spacecraft
1  Novitsky
2  Tarelkin
3  Ford

Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Vinogradov  Pavel Vladimirovich  Commander
2  Misurkin  Aleksandr Aleksandrovich  Flight Engineer
3  Cassidy  Christopher John "Chris"  Flight Engineer
Crew Soyuz TMA-06M backup
Patch Soyuz TMA-06M backup

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alternative crew photo

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Launch vehicle:  Soyuz-FG (No. 11M135S L15000-044)
Spacecraft:  Soyuz TMA-06M (TMA-M No. 707)


Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Landing 64 km northeast of Arkalyk. The landing was delayed one day due to bad weather in the landing area. ISS Expedition 33 / 34.

Following a two-day solo flight Soyuz TMA-06M docked to ISS on October 25, 2012. Oleg Novitsky, Yevgeni Tarelkin and Kevin Ford became the ISS Expedition 33 (together with ISS Expedition 32 crew members Yuri Malenchenko, Sunita Williams and Akihiko Hoshide).

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 284 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-06M integration
Soyuz TMA-06M rollout Soyuz TMA-06M erection
Soyuz TMA-06M on the launch pad Soyuz TMA-06M launch
Crew Soyuz TMA-06M onboard ISS Soyuz TMA-06M recovery


Last update on March 29, 2020.