Rwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2131 posts, RR: 2 Posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 3255 times:
Next Wednesday, May 27th, Soyuz TMA-15 should launch, marking the beginning of a permanent six person crew (Expedition 20) for the International Space Station, when they dock there a couple of days later. The TMA-15 Soyuz will join the TMA-14 Soyuz which launched March 26th. The six person crew will requires two Soyuz for emergency evacuation, as each only holds three. TMA-14 is planned to return to earth the end of September, after TMA-16 arrives.
As the TMA Soyuz continue to be limited to approximately six months on orbit, we should be seeing a new Soyuz at the station every three months or so, swapping half the crew with each flight.
The TMAT Soyuz, is planned to extend its on orbit duration to a full year, and we’d likely see a reduction in flight frequency if, and when, it enters service.
Rwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2131 posts, RR: 2 Reply 3, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 3133 times:
Quoting TheSonntag (Reply 1): Will the current crew then wait until the new Soyuz arrives in September, so that there will be 3 Soyuz at the station for one week?
Yes. TMA-16 now appears scheduled to dock 10/2/09, TMA-14 is scheduled to undock 10/11/09. Apparently the schedule slipped a few days. TMA-15 will be there until December.
Only two of the launch crew of TMA-16 will be staying on ISS, one of the crew, Aydyn Aimbetov from Kazakhstan, will be returning on TMA-14, along with two crew who rode TMA-14 up. OTOH, all three of the TMA-17 launch crew will be staying on ISS.