Launch Schedule – Russia 2013

Here is the current calendar for 2013 for Russian satellites and rocket launch vehicles as listed on the Forum at NASASpaceFlight on 20 December 2012:


  • Complete
  • Upcoming
  • January 15 (TBD) – three Kosmos (Rodnik-S) satellites – Rokot/Briz-KM – Plesetsk 133/3
  • February 5 – six Globalstar-2 – Soyuz-2-1A/Fregat-M – Baikonur 31/6
  • February 11 – Progress M-18M (No. 418) – Soyuz-U – Baikonur 1/5 – 14:43 UTC
  • February 22 (TBD) – Resurs-P No. 1 – Soyuz-2-1B – Baikonur 31/6
  • March 20 (TBD) – three Gonets-M satellites – Rokot/Briz-KM – Plesetsk 133/3
  • March 28 – Soyuz TMA-08M (No. 708) – Soyuz-FG – Baikonur 1/5
  • March 30 – Kosmos (Persona) – Soyuz-2-1B – Plesetsk 43/4
  • March – Meteor-M No. 2, Baumanets-2 (TBD), MKA-PN2 (Relek), Venta-1 (TBD), Ukube-1 – Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat-M – Baikonur 31/6
  • first quarter – Kosmos (Glonass-K1) [block K2s] – Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat-M – Plesetsk 43/4
  • first quarter – Kosmos (Glonass-M) [block 47s] – Soyuz-2-1B/Fregat-M – Plesetsk 43/4
  • April 15-20 – Bion-M No. 1, BeeSat-2, BeeSat-3, SOMP, OSSI-1, flight satellite AIST – Soyuz-2-1B – Baikonur 31/6
  • April 24 – Progress M-19M (No. 419) – Soyuz-U – Baikonur 1/5
  • May 28 – Soyuz TMA-09M (No. 709) – Soyuz-FG – Baikonur
  • end of second quarter (TBD) – two calibration spheres SKRL-756, test satellite AIST – Soyuz-2-1V/Volga – Plesetsk 43/4
  • July 24 – Progress M-20M (No. 420) – Soyuz-U – Baikonur
  • July/August – Kosmos – Proton-M/Briz-M – Baikonur
  • August – Yamal-401 – Proton-M/Briz-M – Baikonur
  • September 25 – Soyuz TMA-10M (No. 710) – Soyuz-FG – Baikonur
  • September – Inmarsat 5 F1 – Proton-M/Briz-M – Baikonur
  • September – EgyptSat-2 – Soyuz – Baikonur
  • October 16 – Progress M-21M (No. 421) – Soyuz-U – Baikonur
  • October – MexSat-1 – Proton-M/Briz-M – Baikonur
  • October/November – Ekspress-AM6 – Proton-M/Briz-M – Baikonur
  • November 25 – Soyuz TMA-11M (No. 711) – Soyuz-FG – Baikonur
  • November – Resurs-P No. 2 – Soyuz-2-1B – Baikonur
  • November/December – Amos-4 – Zenit-3SLB/DM-SLB – Baikonur 45/1
  • December 11 (TBD) – MLM – Proton-M – Baikonur (or 2014)
  • fourth quarter – three Kosmos (Glonass-M) satellites [block 51] – Proton-M/DM-03 – Baikonur
  • end of year – Turksat 4A – Proton-M/Briz-M – Baikonur
  • end of year – Kosmos (Musson-2) – Rokot/Briz-KM – Plesetsk 133/3


  • beginning of year – Ekspress-AT1, Ekspress-AT2 – Proton-M/Briz-M – Baikonur
  • beginning of year – Ekspress-AM8 – Proton-M/DM-03 – Baikonur
  • beginning of year – Turksat 4B – Proton-M/Briz-M – Baikonur
  • beginning of year – Kosmos – Proton-M/DM-03 – Baikonur
  • February 5 – Progress M-22M (No. 422) – Soyuz – Baikonur
  • March 26 – Soyuz TMA-12M (No. 712) – Soyuz-FG – Baikonur
  • first quarter – KazSat-3, Luch-5V – Proton-M/Briz-M – Baikonur
  • first quarter – Inmarsat 5 F2 – Proton-M/Briz-M – Baikonur
  • first quarter (TBD) – Kosmos (Bars) – Soyuz-2 – Plesetsk
  • first quarter – three Gonets-M satellites, DOSAAF-85 – Rokot/Briz-KM – Plesetsk 133/3
  • April 28 – Progress M-23M (No. 423) – Soyuz – Baikonur
  • April – Sentinel-3A – Rokot/Briz-KM – Plesetsk 133/3
  • May 28 – Soyuz TMA-13M (No. 713) – Soyuz-FG – Baikonur

Updated 1 January 2013

2012 Launches
2011 Launches


One Year Mission on the Space Station Set for 2015

Scott Kelly
American Astronaut Scott Kelly
Image Credit: NASA

Mikhail Kornienko
Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko
Image Credit: NASA

NASA announced on Monday 26 November 2012, that American astronaut Scott Kelly and Russian cosmonaut Mikhail Kornienko have been selected by NASA, the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), and their international partners to conduct a 12 month mission aboard the International Space Station (ISS) in 2015.

The mission aboard the orbiting laboratory is designed to further our understanding of how the human body reacts and adapts to microgravity and other aspects of living in space. Work over the past several years have shown marked improvement in the ability for astronauts on a normal 5-6 month mission aboard the ISS to adapt to microgravity. The year long mission seeks to validate these findings.

Long duration missions to the Moon, Lagrange points, asteroids and Mars will require countermeasures to reduce risks associated with future exploration.

Kelly and Kornienko are veterans of space travel. Kelly served as a pilot on space shuttle mission STS-103 in 1999, commander on STS-118 in 2007, flight engineer on the International Space Station Expedition 25 in 2010 and commander of Expedition 26 in 2011. Kelly has logged more than 180 days in space.

Kornienko was selected as an Energia test cosmonaut candidate in 1998 and trained as an International Space Station Expedition 8 backup crew member. He served as a flight engineer on the station’s Expedition 23/24 crews in 2010 and has logged more than 176 days in space.

The two astronauts will launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft in the Spring of 2015 and return to land in Kazakhstan in the Spring of 2016.

Soyuz TMA-05M Launched Toward the International Space Station

TMA-05M Crew
Flight Engineer Sunita Williams, Soyuz Commander Yuri Malenchenko and Flight Engineer Aki Hoshide
Image Credit: NASA

Soyuz TMA-05M launched as planned from the Baikonur Cosmodrome Saturday 14 July at 7:40 PM Phoenix time (0240 UTC 15 July).

NASA astronaut Sunita Williams, Japan’s Aki Hoshide and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko will join other crew members on the International Space Station (ISS).

The Soyuz TMA-05M is expected to dock with the orbiting complex on Tuesday.

Japan is expected to launch their third resupply mission at 7:18 PM Phoenix Time Friday, 20 July (0218 UTC Saturday 21 July).

TMA-05M Ignition
Ignition of the Soyuz Rocket with TMA-05M Manned Spacecraft
Image Credit: NASA TV

TMA-05M Ascent
Ascent of the Soyuz Rocket
Image Credit: NASA TV

TMA-05M Crew
Crew of TMA-05M Manned Spacecraft on Ascent
Image Credit: NASA TV

TMA-05M Schedule
Schedule for the TMA-05M Manned Spacecraft
Image Credit: NASA TV

Hubble Space Telescope Sees Ancient Galaxy Cluster and Mysterious Object

Galaxy Cluster IDCS J1426.5+3508 and Mysterious Blue Arc
Image Credit: NASA / ESA /University of Florida, Gainsville / University of Missouri-Kansas City / UC Davis

In an article in The Astrophysical Journal, astronomers report a massive galaxy cluster 10 Billion light years away, the largest known at that distance, and a bright blue arc (gravitational lense?) perhaps 13 Billion light years away. The astronomers state that for that brightness and distance “…we expect to find no arcs over the entire sky as bright”. The abstract:

The galaxy cluster IDCS J1426.5+3508 at z = 1.75 is the most massive galaxy cluster yet discovered at z > 1.4 and the first cluster at this epoch for which the Sunyaev-Zel’Dovich effect has been observed. In this paper, we report on the discovery with Hubble Space Telescope imaging of a giant arc associated with this cluster. The curvature of the arc suggests that the lensing mass is nearly coincident with the brightest cluster galaxy, and the color is consistent with the arc being a star-forming galaxy. We compare the constraint on M 200 based upon strong lensing with Sunyaev-Zel’Dovich results, finding that the two are consistent if the redshift of the arc is z ~ 3. Finally, we explore the cosmological implications of this system, considering the likelihood of the existence of a strongly lensing galaxy cluster at this epoch in a ΛCDM universe. While the existence of the cluster itself can potentially be accommodated if one considers the entire volume covered at this redshift by all current high-redshift cluster surveys, the existence of this strongly lensed galaxy greatly exacerbates the long-standing giant arc problem. For standard ΛCDM structure formation and observed background field galaxy counts this lens system should not exist. Specifically, there should be no giant arcs in the entire sky as bright in F814W as the observed arc for clusters at z ≥ 1.75, and only ~0.3 as bright in F160W as the observed arc. If we relax the redshift constraint to consider all clusters at z ≥ 1.5, the expected number of giant arcs rises to ~15 in F160W, but the number of giant arcs of this brightness in F814W remains zero. These arc statistic results are independent of the mass of IDCS J1426.5+3508. We consider possible explanations for this discrepancy.

Soyuz TMA-03M Undocks and Returns to Earth.

Soyuz TMA-03 Undocking from the Mini Research Module (MRM-1)
Image Credit: NASA TV

The Russian Soyuz TMA-03M spacecraft undocked from the Mini-Research Module at the International Space Station (ISS) at 9:48 PM Saturday night, while flying above China. This brought Expedition 31 to a close and inaugurated Expedition 32 under the command of Gennady Padalka. The other two crew members on ISS are Russian Sergey Revin, and American Joe Acaba.

The deorbit burn occurred at 12:19 AM Phoenix time Sunday. Russian cosmonaut and Soyuz commander Oleg Kononenko, NASA astronaut Don Pettit, and ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers, returned to Earth aboard the Soyuz Descent Module. The landing in Zhezkaghan took place at 1:14 AM Phoenix time (0814 UTC).

The remainder of the year is heavily booked with activity:

  • 15 July – launch (with 17 July docking) of the Soyuz TMA-05M/31S spacecraft, carrying three additional members of Expedition 32 – Russian Yuri Malenchenko, American Suni Williams, and Japanese astronaut Aki Hoshide.
  • 21 July – the Japanese H-II Transfer Vehicle-3 (HTV-3) spacecraft will launch to the ISS, for a rendezvous and berthing to the ISS
  • 22 July – the Progress M-15M/47P spacecraft will undock from the Docking Compartment-1 (DC-1) module
  • 24 July – the Progress M-15M/47P spacecraft will perform a re-docking to the ISS to test a new Kurs-NA antenna.
  • 30 July – Progress M-15M will undock for the final time and reenter the atmosphere and burn up.
  • 1 August – Launch of Progress M-16M/48P, which will dock to the ISS just a few hours after launch to test a new fast-rendezvous profile.
  • 6 September – departure of the HTV-3 and burn up on reentry
  • 17 September – departure of Soyuz TMA-04M/30S with Gennady Padalka, Sergey Revin and Joe Acaba, marking the end of Expedition 32
  • 23 September – departure of Europe’s ATV-3 spacecraft
  • 5 October – Launch of the first Dragon flight under the Commercial Resupply Services (CRS) contract – known as SpX-1
  • 7 October – Docking of SpX-1

Soyuz TMA-04M Launched Toward ISS

Soyuz FG Launches TMA-04M Toward ISS
Image Credit: NASA TV

A Soyuz FG rocket launched the Soyuz TMA-04M (RSC Energia) spacecraft carrying three new International Space Station crew members on Tuesday. The Soyuz rocket lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 8:01 pm Phoenix time Monday (0301 UTC Tuesday) and placed the Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft into orbit. On board the Soyuz are Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin and American astronaut Joseph Acaba. The Soyuz will dock with the ISS at 11:39 pm EDT Wednesday (0339 GMT Thursday).

Soyuz TMA-04M Set for 15 May Launch

Encapsulating the TMA-04M Spacecraft at Baikonur
Image Credit: Energia

The Russian spacecraft TMA-04M is ready for launch at 0301 UTC on Tuesday, 15 May, from Baikonur (8:01 PM Monday Phoenix time).

The three men on the launch are Expedition 31/32 Flight Engineer Joe Acaba, and cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, a veteran space flyer dating back to the Mir Space Station and Sergey Revin, a rookie. You can follow Joe Acaba on his blog.

Currently, American Astronaut Don Pettit, Dutch Astronaut Andre Kuipers and Russian Cosmonaut Oleg Kononenko (ISS Expedition 31) are aboard the space station. Once they depart in early July, Acaba, Padalka and Revin will be joined by Astronaut Suni Williams, Japanese Astronaut Aki Hoshide and Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (ISS Expedition 32) aboard Soyuz TMA-05M.

More images can be found at the S. P. Korolev web site.

Moving TMA-04M and the Soyuz FG Launch Vehicle to the Pad
Image Credit: Energia

On the Pad
TMA-04M and the Soyuz FG Launch Vehicle on the Pad at Baikonur
Image Credit: Energia