Russian Connection
Not So Perfect Landing
Тревожная посадка


Malencenko  sitting in front of  the hatchway.

NOTE: The following is translated using Altavist Babelfish with some adjustments...

On April 19 in the 11:29:44 Moscow Standard Time the descent Soyuz spacecraft vehicle “Union [TMA]-11” landed 14 km to the northwest of the settlement of Kumkuduk in the Aytekebiyskogo region of the Aktyubinsk region of Kazakhstan, 18 km from the boundary with Orenburg region of Russia. Aboard were commander Yuri Malencenko, flight engineer Peggy Whitson and a participant in space flight of Yi So-yeon.

Nine kilometers to the West of the landing place rise above the steppe to 70 meters the hill, designated on the maps as Karashatau mountain, while four kilometers to the south [lies a] sufficiently large lake Shalkar-Karashatau. But clever person " Soyuz " passed the steep slope of hill and did not arrive in lake.

Directly the engines of soft landing operated before the contact. High winds (15 m/h) the parachute to the side pulled from all forces, and ship, after touching the earth, jumped. Commander immediately shot off the strands of parachute. The descent vehicle fell, it lay on one side and it was quieted. Caught fire dry grass - apparently, from the cartridge of the shooting of parachute. Fortunately, by wind fire carried away from SA.

On the field camp in three kilometers from " Soyuz " had dinner the brigade of [Zhalgaskana] of [Shurenova], head of peasant farm “Shalkar”. After hearing air burst and after seeing the descending parachute, Kazakhs on [UAZike] and [Zil] moved to the landing place. At that very moment when tractor operators approached SA, 8 minutes after landing - passed the program shooting of covers and left antennas, onboard and ground.

Hatchway was opened - and from SA  Malencenko [exited]. “We are cosmonauts”, he reported. Kazakhs believed not immediately. They were very astonished and entirely not in the course, who before them, said then Yuri. - One of them asked, showing to the descent vehicle: this is boat? The second asked, from where we jumped perhaps from the aircraft?

     According to Malencenko, the Kazakhs helped to reach from SA GPS- navigator and satellite telephone in order to be connected with the rescuers f [rosaeronavigatsii] and with [TsUPom]. [Zh].[Shurenov] it recalls, what after the equipment climbed in SA thinnest of its people - rope Of [kydyralin].

     Judging by everything, by Peggy [Uitson] transmitted telephone and GPS- receiver To [kydyralinu], and already that - Malencenko. On “[iridiumovskomu]” telephone the commander reported landing in the center of search and rescue service.

     It is not entirely clear, who helped the women to [exit from] SA. Yuri Ivanovich said at the press conference in the starry that the cosmonauts “independently [exited] from the descent vehicle”. [Shurenov] he indicates that he carried women [by] hands. One way or another, Whitson and Yi arranged to lie in the shadow [of] SA, and Malencenko remained to sit before the hatchway.

Translated from:

“The News of Cosmonautics”
NK of No.6/2008 g.
April 1 to 30, 2008.

Тревожная посадка

И.Лисов. "Новости космонавтики"

     19 апреля в 11:29:44 ДМВ спускаемый аппарат корабля «Союз ТМА-11» приземлился в 14 км к северо-западу от поселка Кумкудук Айтекебийского района Актюбинской области Казахстана [1], в 18 км от границы с Оренбургской областью России. На борту находились командир Юрий Маленченко, бортинженер Пегги Уитсон и участник космического полета Ли Со Ён.

     В девяти километрах к западу от места посадки поднимался над степью на 70 метров холм, обозначенный на картах как гора Карашатау, а в четырех километрах к югу лежало довольно крупное озеро Шалкар-Карашатау. Но умница «Союз» миновал крутой склон холма и не попал в озеро.

     Непосредственно перед касанием сработали двигатели мягкой посадки. Сильный ветер (15 м/с!) изо всех сил тянул парашют в сторону, и корабль, коснувшись земли, подпрыгнул. Командир немедленно отстрелил стренги парашюта. Спускаемый аппарат упал, лег набок и успокоился. Загорелась сухая трава – по-видимому, от пиропатрона отстрела парашюта. К счастью, ветром огонь понесло прочь от СА.

     На полевом стане в трех километрах от «Союза» обедала бригада Жалгаскана Шуренова, главы крестьянского хозяйства «Шалкар». Услышав взрыв в воздухе и увидев спускающийся парашют, казахи на УАЗике и ЗиЛе двинулись к месту посадки. В тот самый момент, когда трактористы приблизились к СА, – через 8 минут после посадки – прошел программный отстрел крышек и вышли антенны, бортовая и донная.

     Открылся люк – и из СА выбрался Маленченко. «Мы космонавты», – сообщил он. Казахи поверили не сразу. «Они были очень удивлены и совсем не в курсе, кто перед ними, – рассказывал потом Юрий. – Один из них спрашивал, показывая на спускаемый аппарат: это лодка? Второй спросил, откуда мы спрыгнули, может быть, с самолета?»

     По словам Маленченко, казахи помогли достать из СА GPS-навигатор и спутниковый телефон, чтобы связаться со спасателями Росаэронавигации и с ЦУПом. Ж.Шуренов вспоминает, что за аппаратурой лазил в СА самый худой из его людей – Канат Кыдыралин.

     Судя по всему, Пегги Уитсон передала телефон и GPS-приемник Кыдыралину, а уже тот – Маленченко. По «иридиумовскому» телефону командир сообщил о посадке в центр поисково-спасательной службы.

     Не совсем ясно, кто помог выбраться из СА женщинам. Юрий Иванович сказал на пресс-конференции в Звездном, что космонавты «самостоятельно выполнили выход из спускаемого аппарата». Шуренов говорит, что женщин на руках выносил он. Так или иначе, Уитсон и Ли устроили лежать в тени СА, а Маленченко остался сидеть перед люком.

The Soyuz TMA-11
Descent did see module separation failure say ISS sources
Source: a NASA/United Space Alliance internal briefing obtained by Flight

Checking with my ISS programme sources I have got confirmation that the Soyuz TMA-11 descent module did indeed incorrectly separate from its equipment module and been informed about the engineering changes Energia is making to try to solve the problem.

Soyuz design changes to address 'ballistic' re-entries - By Rob Coppinger

Source: a NASA/United Space Alliance internal briefing obtained by Flight
Soyuz TMA-11

Mission patch

Soyuz TMA-11 was a human spaceflight mission using a Soyuz-TMA spacecraft to transport personnel to and from the International Space Station (ISS). The mission began at 13:22 UTC on October 10, 2007 when the spacecraft was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome by a Soyuz FG launch vehicle. It brought to the station two members of the ISS Expedition 16 crew, as well as Sheikh Muszaphar, the first Malaysian in space. TMA-11 remained at the station as an escape craft, and returned to Earth on 19 April 2008, after it had been replaced by Soyuz TMA-12.

Mission highlights

The launch, which took place at at 13:22 UTC (05:22 p.m. Moscow time) on October 10, 2007, "Went off successfully and without a hitch" according to a Russian official.[12] In Malaysia, crowds in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur cheered as they watched the live launch broadcast on television sets in Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square). The giant screen originally set up for this purpose failed to function properly.

The Soyuz TMA-11 docking to the ISS occurred at 14:50 UTC on October 12, 2007.

The return flight of Soyuz TMA-11 was the first time two women flew together on board a Soyuz and it was the first time women outnumbered men aboard a spacecraft since Valentina Tereshkova's solo flight in 1963.

The spacecraft landed in Kazakhstan on 19 April 2008. Similar to Soyuz TMA-1 / Expedition 6 and Soyuz TMA-10 / Expedition 15, the Soyuz performed a ballistic reentry, a reentry steeper than a normal aerodynamic reentry, due to a malfunction and landed 475 km from intended landing point. This is the second such event in a row for Soyuz TMA. Although the crew were recovered with no injuries, the spacecraft's hatch and antenna suffered burn damage during the unusual reentry. Several days after landing, international media widely reported that the Korean Spaceflight Participiant was hospitalized due to severe back pain belived to be the result of the severe stress encountered during reentry. The Russian news agency Interfax reported the ship may have entered the atmosphere hatch first.

Anatoly Perminov, the head of the Russian Federal Space Agency, speculated that the ballistic reentry was connected to a Russian nautical superstition that having more women than men on a craft was unlucky. "This isn't discrimination," he stated when challenged on the point. "I'm just saying that when a majority [of the crew] is female, sometimes certain kinds of unsanctioned behaviour or something else occurs." Perminov said he would try to ensure that the number of women would not exceed the number of men in the future. 

It has been reported that the unusual re-entry may have been caused by the failure of the service module to fully separate from the descent module. A similar anomaly occurred during the re-entry of Soyuz 5 in 1969.


Soyuz lands 420km off course
Soyuz TMA-11 approaches the International Space Station, carrying NASA astronaut Peggy A. Whitson, Expedition 16 commander; cosmonaut Yuri I. Malenchenko, Soyuz commander and flight engineer representing Russia's Federal Space Agency; and Malaysian spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor (Full Image)

Kazakh Steppe (Kazakhstan), April 19 (Reuters): 

A Russian space capsule landed about 420km off course in Kazakhstan today but South Korea’s first astronaut and the other two crew were safe.

The Soyuz capsule landed west of the target area and about 20 minutes past the scheduled time after it adopted a so-called “ballistic landing”, space officials said. Rescue helicopters rushed to the site. “The capsule landed with an overshoot. Such things happen,” said mission control spokesman Valery Lyndin.

He said the crew had begun leaving the capsule, which carried Yi So-yeon, a 29-year old nanotechnology engineer from Seoul, US commander Peggy Whitson and Russian flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko. A Reuters photographer, who travelled to the landing site in a helicopter with rescue crews, saw plumes of smoke rising from the capsule. 


Soyuz spacecraft lands off-target
First female commander of ISS
Sets new US spaceflight record
Served almost 185 days in 2002
Latest ISS flight lasted 192
377 total passes Michael Foale
UK-born astronaut total: 374

Footage of Soyuz capsule after its return to Earth

A Russian Soyuz spacecraft has returned to Earth, but came down more than 400km (250 miles) away from its planned touchdown point, say Russian officials. The crew are safe, but were subjected to severe G-forces during re-entry, said a spokesman for mission control. He said they were examined at the landing site by medical staff.

South Korea's Yi So-yeon spent 11 days at the International Space Station

On board were Yi So-yeon, South Korea's first astronaut, Yuri Malenchenko from Russia and American Peggy Whitson, who broke Nasa's record for time in space. The Russian TMA-11 landing capsule was returning from a mission to the International Space Station. It touched down some 420km away from its planned landing point in the Kazakh steppe, and some 20 minutes later than schedule.

"The main thing is that the crew is alive and healthy," said Anatoly Perminov, head of the Russian federal space agency.

They underwent medical examinations after landing, having been subjected to G-forces up to 10 times those present on Earth.

Mr Perminov said the craft followed the back-up landing plan, a so-called "ballistic re-entry" - a plunge with an uncontrollable, steep trajectory.

He said the crew missed the target because they changed their landing plan at the last minute without telling mission control.

In October, a crew returning from the International Space Station had a similar experience, touching down in Kazakhstan 200km (120 miles) from its intended landing site, in temperatures of 6C ( 43F).

Ms Yi had spent 11 days conducting tests at the space station.

South Korea, which paid Russia $20m (£10m) for her trip into space, is investing heavily in space technology and is due to launch its first rocket later this year. Ms Whitson now holds the record for the cumulative length of time spent in space by an American at 377 days, the US space agency Nasa said earlier.

This was Yuri Malenchenko's third long-duration spaceflight. He spent 126 days aboard space station Mir in 1994, and 185 days on the ISS in 2006.

He also flew on a 12-day shuttle mission in 2000. He has accumulated 515 days in space during his four flights. This is the ninth highest total of cumulative time.

Published: 2008/04/19 14:25:40 GMT

Story from BBC NEWS:

Related Links:

FAIR USE NOTICE: This page contains copyrighted material the use of which has not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Pegasus Research Consortium distributes this material without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. We believe this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in 17 U.S.C § 107. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
~ MENU ~


Webpages  © 2001-2008
Blue Knight Productions