Soyuz TMA- 03M is a mission of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to the International Space Station. In the course of the ISS program of flight is called ISS AF - 29S. It was the 29th visit of a Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS and the 135th flight in Sojusprogramm. At the same time it was the qualification flight of the modernized Soyuz TMA -M spacecraft from the mission start only spaceships with digital computers from Baikonur.
- Oleg Kononenko ( 2nd space flight), Commander, ( Russia / Roskosmos )
- Donald Pettit ( third space flight), flight engineer, (USA / NASA)
- André Kuipers ( second space flight ), flight engineer, (The Netherlands / ESA )
- Yuri Malenchenko ( fifth space flight), Commander, ( Russia / Roskosmos )
- Sunita Williams ( third space flight ), aircraft engineer, (USA / NASA)
- Akihiko Hoshide ( second space flight), flight engineer, ( Japan / JAXA )
The mission took three crew members of the ISS Expeditions 30 and 31 to the International Space Station. The Soyuz spacecraft Soyuz TMA- 02M sparked off as a rescue capsule. It was the third mission of the Soyuz spacecraft with digital computers.
Originally the launch was scheduled for late November 2011. Because of the false starts of an unmanned Soyuz rocket on 24 August 2011, all other Soyuz launch postponed. Soyuz TMA- 03M finally launched without problems on December 21, 2011 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome launch pad 1 of the ISS. Two days later the ship docked four minutes earlier than planned on the Russian module Rassvet.
The end of the mission was scheduled for 16 May 2012. However, the re-entry capsule of the Soyuz TMA- 04M spacecraft was heavily damaged during leak testing in Energia plant Korolev. It was decided to discard the entire spacecraft (serial number 704) and speed up the fitting-out of the originally intended for Soyuz TMA- 05M spacecraft. Thus, the launch of Soyuz TMA- 04M on 15 May 2012 and Soyuz TMA- 05M is postponed to 15th July 2012. To be on the ISS can be as long as possible research with six crew members, the landing of Soyuz TMA- 03M was shifted by about six weeks.
Annealing of the upper over Central Europe
On December 24, 2011 at approximately 16:27 UTC were parts of the atmosphere in the spectacular diminishing auxiliaries Soyuz rocket over Central Europe to see. From Luxembourg and Germany numerous reports were received from one moving at high speed and brightness object. A day later confirmed the ESA that it had been to parts of the Soyuz upper stage, which burns are at a speed 25000-28000 kilometers per hour 80 kilometers above the Earth.