Expedition 33

ISS Expedition 33 mission is the designation for the 33 long-term crew of the International Space Station ( ISS). The mission began on 16 September 2012 with the uncoupling of the spaceship Soyuz TMA- 04M from the ISS and ended on 18 November 2012 with the undocking of Soyuz TMA- 05M.

  • 2.1 freighter traffic & evasive maneuvers
  • 2.2 Laser communications in test mode
  • 2.3 Small satellite of a large satellite
  • 2.4 spacewalk
  • 2.5 Complete the mission


  • Sunita Williams ( second space flight), Commander, (USA / NASA) ( Soyuz TMA- 05M )
  • Yuri Ivanovich Malenchenko ( fifth space flight), flight engineer, ( Russia / Roscosmos ) ( Soyuz TMA- 05M )
  • Akihiko Hoshide ( second space flight), flight engineer, ( Japan / JAXA ) ( Soyuz TMA- 05M )

In addition, as of 25 October 2012:

  • Kevin Anthony Ford ( second space flight), flight engineer (USA / NASA) ( Soyuz TMA- 06M )
  • Oleg Viktorovich Novitsky ( first space flight), flight engineer, ( Russia / Roscosmos ) ( Soyuz TMA- 06M )
  • Yevgeny Igorjewitsch Tarelkin ( first space flight), flight engineer ( Russia / Roscosmos ) ( Soyuz TMA- 06M )

After undocking of Soyuz TMA- 05M with Malenchenko, Williams and Hoshide Ford takes command and forms Novitsky and Tarelkin the initial crew of the ISS Expedition 34

Backup crew

The backup crew of ISS Expedition recruited from the backup crews of the Soyuz shuttle respective spaceships ( see there). If everything is going according to plan, these teams two Soyuz missions and thus two ISS expeditions are then usually later for regular use.

Mission Description

During the approximately two -month mission primarily scientific experiments were cared for and kept the station in good condition on board the International Space Station. A major part of more than 200 experiments, the current is automatic or controlled from the ground. Another part deals with the physical and psychological changes, which man is exposed for longer stays in weightlessness and in relative isolation. There are a variety of apparatuses with which tests are made. So ECG or EEG are regularly taken, sometimes overnight, the body " rayed " ultrasonically studied the activity of the cardiovascular system, changes in the body traced on blood and urine samples and tried by special diets, exercise or medication, the muscle and bone loss and a weakened immune system to counteract. To mental health care include confidential conferences the spaceman with specialists on the ground and filling out electronic questionnaire or the completion of tests on the PC.

In addition, the Earth exploration played a major role, since one could react quite flexibly to specific events. Of interest here were exceptional weather phenomena, environmental contamination or catastrophic events on Earth. Partial cameras but were controlled or programmed by students or student groups on the ground.

Additional experiments with reasonable care expenses were biological studies, for example on plants, fish or bacteria cultures and physico- technical investigations. The latter counted Plasma Crystal 3 plus, which in the last few weeks of the mission was repeatedly activated in particular. Here the development of charged particle clouds in microgravity has been detected. It evolved under various pressure and Temparturbedingungen clusters of particles, which can resemble a crystal formation.

From the arrival of the spaceship Soyuz TMA- 06M on 25 October at several medaka were in a specially equipped aquarium. The fish are semi-transparent, so that changes in their bodies are immediately visible. The biological experiments also scored Bioemulsija in which a bacterial strain was cloned, with the probiotics to produce certain substances more effectively than their ancestors. Bacteria can also serve as biological factories for certain substances.

Freighter traffic & evasive maneuvers

Right at the beginning of the expedition 33 preparations were before the departure of the unmanned transport spaceship ATV Edoardo Amaldi 3. 3 ATV docked on March 29 at the rear of the ISS and was subsequently discharged. Multiple re-boost maneuvers were completed with the engines of the freighter. The mean orbital height was significantly raised again. Finally, no longer were loaded into the ATV needed materials and waste.

The decoupling was supposed to take place on 26 September, but was delayed for two days because the ATV did not respond to the command to drop. The problem was that the command sent by radio by mistake the wrong spacecraft number (34 instead of 35) contained. Of course, the ATV did not respond to the command, since it was not actually meant.

On September 28, then closed the drop. On October 2, the engines for almost 14 minutes, ignited for the first reverse thrust, 3 hours later again for a good 15 minutes. The spacecraft entered into force on 3 October, about 3.30 clock CEST in dense layers of the atmosphere one, broke and burned up mostly. During the break data on acceleration and temperature detected by a REBR said device and received via telephone to a satellite ground station.

On October 8, the first regular Dragon freighter launched to the ISS. At the start there was an engine failure at the first stage of the launch vehicle. Nevertheless, the spacecraft reached Earth orbit one and two days after the start of the planned space station. After disconnecting the spaceship Dragon CRS 1 on October 28 and its splashdown of the evaluation was known under that during the flight one of the three main computer executed a probable radiation-induced reboot. On radiation thought to be due also to the failure of a GPS module. Both systems are multiple redundant aboard the spaceship. After splashdown water penetrated into an area with electrical components. Linked to this was apparently a loss of electrical power, which warmed the contents of a freezer unit of -95 ° C to -65 ° C. But apparently there was therefore no damage to the blood and urine samples contained therein.

Shortly after the coupling of a few hours earlier launched freighter Progress M - 17M led the ISS in the night of 1 November, a maneuver to avoid. The engines of the coupled to the module Pirs spacecraft Progress M - 16M were used for this.

Laser communications in test mode

On October 2, we tested a novel communication system in the Russian part. Data are transmitted by means of a laser beam to Earth. Here the pulses from a ground station in the North Caucasus have been received. In this first test, 2.8 GB, a total of information transmitted at a data rate of 128 Mbit / s. The successful test paves the way for words Responsible for the widespread deployment of such systems in space. With laser communication systems, data transfer rates were up to 10 Gbit / s.

Small satellite of a large satellite

On October 4, 4 Japanese small satellites and a Cubesat the University of Hanoi ( Vietnam) were catapulted with a special device from the Kibo module into space. Start conditioning and satellite had previously been transported to the ISS by the transport spaceship Kounotori 3. When the satellite is RAIKO, FITSat 1, We Wish, F -1 and TechEduSat.


On November 1, Sunita Williams and Akihiko Hoshide got out for 6 hours and 38 minutes from the ISS to make a repair. First, a radiator ( heat spreader ) was separated and retracted from the coolant circuit. Subsequently, a reserve radiator was connected to the cooling circuit and extended. Both radiators located on the P6 truss segment (port 6) and serve to cool the housed here control and charging electronics. P6 is one of four grid elements, which is equipped with four large solar cell panels that provide most of the electrical energy for the ISS. Additionally inspected and cleaned Williams Sunita a hinge for tracking the solar panels, so that they can always be oriented to the sun.

Completion of the mission

On 17 November, the command transfer of Sunita Williams to Kevin Ford was the following evening, the spaceman Yuri Malenchenko, Sunita Williams and Akihiko Hoshide went into their spaceship and locked against 20.10 clock the hatches to the space station. With the decoupling against 23.26 clock CET the ISS Expedition 33 finally ended, the landing took place in the early morning of 19 November from 2.56 clock CET in the Kazakh steppe.