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March 26, 2018 - Fast Track to Orbit

Fast Track to Orbit  Five years ago this week, the Soyuz TMA-08M mission lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan carrying three members of the Expedition 35 crew to the International Space Station. Unlike previous crew transport missions, which took up to two days to arrive at and dock with the ISS, the TMA-08M mission followed a six-hour fast rendezvous flight profile that was previously tested on two uncrewed Progress resupply flights. The result was that the crew made it from the launch pad to the ISS in less time than the average transatlantic airplane flight, and set a new record for fastest crew docking at the ISS. The Soyuz TMA-08M spacecraft was docked to the ISS for 166 days, at which time the crew members of Expedition 35 departed ISS and returned to Earth.

Image credit: NASA

Weekly Calendar

March 26 - April 1, 2018

Holidays - Sky Events - Space History

 

Moon phase Monday 26

Moon at perigee

2009: Soyuz TMA-14 launched carrying ISS Expedition 19/20 crew

Moon phase Tuesday 27

1969: Mariner 7 launched
1972: Venera 8 launched
1989: Contact lost with Phobos 2
1999: First Sea Launch mission
2015: Soyuz TMA-16M launched carrying ISS Expedition 43/44 crew

Moon phase Wednesday 28

Regulus 1° south of Moon

1802: Heinrich Olbers discovers asteroid Pallas
1963: Fourth Saturn C-1 rocket (SA-4) launched
2013: Soyuz TMA-08M launched carrying ISS Expedition 35/36 crew

Moon phase Thursday 29

1807: Heinrich Olbers discovers Vesta
1974: Mariner 10 first Mercury flyby
1989: Starfire 1 launched
2006: ISS Expedition 13 crew launched

Moon phase Friday 30

Passover begins at sunset
Good Friday

2017: SpaceX launches SES-10 satellite, first reflight of orbital-class rocket

Moon phase Saturday 31

Full Moon 8:37 AM ET

1962: NASA approves final design of Gemini spacecraft
1982: Kvant module launched to Mir space station
1997: Pioneer 10 mission officially ends

Moon phase Sunday 1

Easter Sunday

Mercury in inferior conjunction

1960: TIROS 1 launched
1997: Comet Hale-Bopp’s closest approach to Sun
1998: TRACE launched

Suggestions for new history dates or better links? Corrections for errors on this page? Please e-mail me.