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Landing Update: ISS Expedition 7
10.27.03
 
Mission: ISS Expedition Crew Exchange
Landing Date: Monday, October 27, 2003
Landing Time: 9:41 p.m. EST
Live Landing Coverage: 2:45 p.m. to 10:09 p.m. EST


Relive our live coverage for the launch of Expedition 8 and the on orbit coverage as the TMA-3 docked with the ISS and the two crews greeted each other.

27 Oct 2:45 p.m. EST
Welcome to NASA's live web coverage of the Expedition 7 landing in Russia. Video commentary is provided by Kyle Herring of Johnson Space Center Public Affairs Office.

The clocks in Mission Control are counting down to hatch closure in 23 minutes.

2:48 p.m. EST
The ISS is currently located over the Indian Ocean on the dark side of the earth as it approaches the equator.

2:52 p.m. EST
The Houston Flight Control team will be handing over the attitude control to the Russian Flight Control Team for the rest of the mission. This standard procedure is scheduled to occur at 3 p.m.

3:02 p.m. EST
The attitude control officer at Mission Control Houston reports a clean handover to Russian Flight Control.

3:12 p.m. EST
Pedro Duque, Ed Lu and Yuri Malenchenko (Expedition 7) say goodbye to the Exp 8 crew and return to the Zevezda Service Module.

3:20 p.m. EST
Yuri Malenchenko and the Flight Controllers from Moscow converse about preparations for undocking.

3:28 p.m. EST
Undocking will occur at approximately 6:20 p.m. EST. Our coverage will resume at 5:45 p.m. EST for the undocking of the Soyuz capsule from the Space Station.

5:45 p.m. EST
Our live coverage begins again with undocking preparations in the final stages. The live commentary continues with Kyle Herring of the JSC Public Affairs Office.

6:10 p.m. EST
Undocking will occur 2 minutes 30 seconds from now.

6:13 p.m. EST
The undocking command has been issued. This opens the hooks on the Soyuz side. This initial undocking involves opening the final hooks which hold the Soyuz to the Space Station. The actual formal undocking occurs at 6:18.

6:14 p.m. EST
We have confirmation of official undock. Landing will occur 3 hours 22 minutes from now. The next step is for Yuri Malenchenko to perform the first velocity burn.

6:20 p.m. EST
Confirming the separation burn is underway. This 10-15 second burn will push the two spacecraft apart.

6:21 p.m. EST
Separation burn is complete.

6:25 p.m. EST
Expedition 8 crew wishes Expedition 7 crew a safe trip back to Earth.

6:27 p.m. EST
Interesting fact: Today 42 years ago (1961), the first Saturn-1 superheavy launch vehicle thundered into the Florida skies, introducing the world to America's Apollo lunar landing program. SA-1 was followed by nine more Saturn I missions, then by nine flights of its uprated Saturn IB version, and finally by 13 missions of the giant Saturn V for the lunar landing. Of those 32 Saturn missions, not a single one failed.

6:32 p.m. EST
Everything has been going smoothly with the departure of Expedition 7 from the ISS. The final farewells were said, the undocking then occurred at 6:17 p.m. EST, and the Soyuz TMA spacecraft separated from the Space Station.

6:34 p.m. EST
The next activation of the capsule's onboard engines will be the deorbit burn scheduled to occur at 8:47 p.m. EST. The landing location of the Soyuz capsule is approximately 38 kilometers south of Astana.

6:44 p.m. EST
This concludes our coverage at this time. Please join us at 8 p.m. EST when our coverage will continue for the final events of deorbit burn and landing of Expedition 7 after 185 days, 183 days at the Space Station.

8:00 p.m. EST
Our coverage has resumed. Commentary by Kyle Herring of the JSC Public Affairs Office. The crew is being kept informed in regard to latest activities at the landing site including weather. There is some slight chance of rain and snow showers after landing. Temperatures at landing will be about 25 degrees Fahrenheit.

8:08 p.m. EST
Recovery forces in Kazakhstan are standing by as they await the return of the Expedition 7 Crew. These forces are made up of 12 helicopters, a half dozen fixed wing aircraft, and several all terrain vehicles. The primary landing site is predicted to be about 340 kilometers south of Astana. The actual predicted site coordinates are 49.5 North and 66.57 East. For a ballistic re-entry, which is not expected but is planned for, the landing site is about 790 kilometers southwest of Astana and the landing coordinates 48.22 North and 61.08 East.

8:16 p.m. EST
The clock in the Mission Control Center in Houston, TX, is counting down to the reentry burn of the Soyuz TMA capsule, scheduled to occur in 31 minutes.

8:25 p.m. EST
At Mission Control in Korolov, Russia. The deorbit burn clock is counting down to 26 minutes. The burn will last approximately 4 minutes 17 seconds. That will drop the Soyuz out of orbit into Earth's atmosphere about 20 minutes later.

8:32 p.m. EST
15 minutes to the deorbit burn. The burn will last about 4 minutes, 17 seconds. After the Soyuz module lands, crewmembers will be flown to Astana where they should arrive at about 11:40 a.m. local time.

8:34 p.m. EST
The Soyuz module that the Expedition 7 crew will return to earth in is 23.5 feet long and weights 15,000 lbs. The module is separated into 3 sections - the Orbital Module, the middle one, which is the crew's Descent Module, and the third is the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module. + View the video

8:47 p.m. EST
The deorbit burn has begun. The deorbit burn is a four-minute, seventeen-second engine firing that will slow the Soyuz spacecraft enough to begin its descent.

8:51 p.m. EST
Deorbit burn is complete.

9:06 p.m. EST
The Expedition 7 Crew and Pedro Duque are now 35 minutes from landing.

9:14 p.m. EST
NASA Commentator Kyle Herring confirms that the Orbital Module and Instrumentation/Propulsion Module have separated from the Descent Module, which will carry the crew the rest of the way back to Earth.

The Soyuz is going through an expected brief period of intermittent communications. Entry Interface is expected shortly.

9:21 p.m. EST
Landing is now only 20 minutes away.

9:24 p.m. EST
About two minutes away from the parachute sequence. The initial sequence is begun by two pilot parachutes, which then extract the drogue chute. It measures 21 meters and slows the capsule down to about 179 miles per hour.

9:27 p.m. EST
Inside 13 minutes to landing. Parachutes have been deployed, slowing the capsule's descent from 514 mph to 179 mph. The spacecraft is being tracked by fixed-wing aircraft. At this point the drogue chute should be just about done doing its job of slowing the capsule down. Then the main parachute, which is about 1000 meters in size, is deployed. This will slow the capsule down to about 16 miles per hour.

9:30 p.m. EST
10 minutes from touchdown. The beacon from the Soyuz capsule has been locked on by the search aircraft.

9:32 p.m. EST
The Soyuz descent angle is about 30 degrees to help dispel heat from the vehicle. The descent angle will shift to vertical shortly before touchdown.

9:34 p.m. EST
Helicopters have spotted the Soyuz as it approaches for landing! Its journey is almost complete. Landing is progressing perfectly.

9:37 p.m. EST
4 minutes from touchdown, all continuing to go very smoothly.

9:39 p.m. EST
The Soyuz is shifting to vertical to prepare for touchdown. Engines will fire to slow the spacecraft from 16 mph to 3 mph at touchdown.

9:40 p.m. EST
Standing by for confirmation of landing...

9:41 p.m. EST
Applause breaks out in Russian Mission Control as landing is confirmed! Expedition 7 is back on Earth after 185 days in space, along with ESA astronaut Pedro Duque, who spent 10 days in space.

9:47 p.m. EST
The recovery team will assist crew out of the Soyuz vehicle, perform some medical checks, and allow them to rest. They will then be flown by helicopter from the landing site to the city of Astana. The crew is expected to arrive at Astana at about 11:40 a.m. Kazakhstan time (3:40 a.m. EST).

9:54 p.m. EST
Astronaut Bill MacArthur on board one of the rescue helicopters reports that the hatch is open on the Soyuz and they are waiting for the crew to egress.

10:09 p.m. EST
This concludes our live landing coverage.

 
 
NASA's John F. Kennedy Space Center and Johnson Space Center
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