Expedition 34

ISS Expedition 34 mission is the designation for the 34 long-term crew of the International Space Station ( ISS). The mission began on 18 November 2012 with the uncoupling of the spaceship Soyuz TMA- 05M from the ISS. The end was marked by the uncoupling of Soyuz TMA- 06M on 15 March 2013.

  • 2.1 spacewalks
  • 2.2 New ways of communication
  • 2.3 freighter traffic
  • 2.4 landing and follow-up


  • Kevin Anthony Ford ( second space flight), Commander, (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 )

Additionally from December 21, 2012

  • Henry Thomas Marshburn ( second space flight), flight engineer, (USA / NASA) ( Soyuz TMA- 07M )
  • Chris Austin Hadfield ( third space flight), flight engineer, ( Canada / CSA) ( Soyuz TMA- 07M )
  • Roman Romanenko Jurjewitsch ( second space flight), flight engineer, ( Russia / Roscosmos ) ( Soyuz TMA- 07M )

After undocking of Soyuz TMA- 06M with Novitsky, Tarelkin and Ford Hadfield took command and formed with Romanenko and Marshburn the initial crew of the ISS Expedition 35

Backup crew

The backup crew of ISS Expedition recruited from the backup crews of the Soyuz shuttle respective spaceships ( see there). These teams then came two Soyuz missions and thus two ISS expeditions later for regular use.

Mission Description

First, Ford, Novitsky and Tarelkin had to keep the station about four weeks alone in shot. In addition to the maintenance work still different experiments were supervised and completed long-term medical studies.

With the launch of Soyuz TMA- 07M on 19 December 2012, the second phase of Expedition 34, within the two days began later grew the manning of six people with the coupling at the ISS module Rassvet. Main task was in addition to the maintenance of the space station to carry out various scientific and technical experiments in the fields of astronomy, biology, earth science, medicine, physics and engineering.

New experiments related to changes in surface tension in microgravity by adding various surfactants to water ( ESA experiment FASTER ) and the testing of a Micro Flow -called flow cytometer the Canadian Space Agency CSA, identified with the cells and complex molecules in the blood flow through multi-color laser light, counted and can be categorized. Thus the suitability of the device is to be checked as a medical instrument in space.


Mid- January 2013 took place outboard a largely autonomous and from Earth -initiated automatic refueling maneuvers. And the necessary equipment of the Robotic Refueling Mission had already reached in the summer of 2011 to the ISS. During the multi-day and multi-stage test fuse wires and caps were removed, extended a filler and transferred a symbolic amount of liquid. For this, the expansion of the Canadian manipulator arm Dextre was used.

New possibilities in communication

The end of January for the first time a direct communication between the space station and a receiving and transmitting unit on the ground was carried out using a laser to transmit current scientific data. This hardware was used, which was installed in 2011 in the course of a spacewalk on the outer skin of the Zvezda module and previously tested in October last year. A total of about 400 MB have been transferred up to 125 Mbit / s data rates.

On February 19 it was in the course of a software update and a switchover to a backup system to a three-hour interruption of all communications between ground stations and the US-based segment of the ISS. A few days earlier, a cable technician in Russia had thoughtlessly cut an important line on the ground, ran through the wide range of information on Russian satellites and ground stations. Both defects were repaired after a few hours. On February 22, however, theoretically everyone could under a Google Hangouts with the slogan " Everything you always wanted to know about the ISS life " communicate with the crew of the International Space Station, this was practically only a few permitted. More generally, in particular NASA and CSA intensified its public relations with this and similar contacts specifically to educational institutions.

Freighter traffic

On 9 February, the cargo ship Progress M -16M was disconnected and then burned up in the atmosphere. On February 11, Progress M -18M was launched and docked after only about four hours of flight time automatically at the exit module Pirs. This was the last unmanned test of the new approximation method before use in manned Soyuz spaceships. A small show there was on February 14 in the night sky over Germany, as the third stage of the launch vehicle left a significant tracer when burning out.

On March 1, the second regular Dragon freighter launched on a Falcon 9 rocket to the ISS. Despite a problem with the activation of three control engine groups the mission was successful. More than a ton of material could be transported back to Earth on March 26.

Landing and follow-up

On March 16, landed the crew of the spaceship Soyuz TMA- 06M, which consisted of Oleg Novitsky, Kevin Ford and Yevgeny Tarelkin. The previous day, Ford had first handed over command of the station to a Canadian. Chris Hadfield did his job well and excelled on top of that as an entertainer from space. With the takeover command at the same time began the ISS Expedition 35

After landing Novitsky and Tarelkin completed the first time another special program. First, a manually controlled descent to the planet Mars was simulated in a centrifuge. The next day, the two cosmonauts completed a simulated exit on Mars, with an apparatus made ​​sure that the gravity corresponded to the Red Planet.