Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 256

Soyuz TMA-12



Patch Soyuz TMA-12 Patch Soyuz TMA-12 (South Korea)

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Patch Soyuz TMA-12 (NASA version) Patch Soyuz TMA-12

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Patch: Soyuz TMA-12 (landing crew)

Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  08.04.2008
Launch time:  11:16:38.922 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  1
Altitude:  348 - 358 km
Inclination:  51.64°
Docking ISS:  10.04.2008, 12:56:47 UTC
Undocking ISS:  24.10.2008, 00:16:18 UTC
Landing date:  24.10.2008
Landing time:  03:36:49.9 UTC
Landing site:  51°04'40" N, 67°09'45" E

walkout photo

Crew Soyuz TMA-12

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alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo

alternative crew photo


No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Volkov  Sergei Aleksandrovich  Commander 1 198d 16h 20m 11s  3131 
2  Kononenko  Oleg Dmitriyevich  Flight Engineer 1 198d 16h 20m 11s  3131 
3  Yi  Soyeon  Spaceflight Participant 1 10d 21h 13m 05s  171 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Volkov
2  Kononenko
3  Yi
Soyuz TMA spacecraft
1  Volkov
2  Kononenko
3  Garriott

Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Surayev  Maksim Viktorovich  Commander
2  Skripochka  Oleg Ivanovich  Flight Engineer
3  Ko  San  Spaceflight Participant
Crew Soyuz TMA-12 backup

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Launch vehicle:  Soyuz-FG (No. 28M133S Sh15000-024)
Spacecraft:  Soyuz TMA-12 (TMA No. 222)


Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome; ISS Expedition 17. Landing 94 km NNE of Arkalyk

Yi Soyeon flew on board Soyuz TMA-12 as a guest of the Russian government through the Korean Astronaut Program after the Korean government paid the Russian government 25 million US dollars in agreement to support the first Korean astronaut in space. Her role aboard the Soyuz is referred to as a Spaceflight Participant in English-language Russian Federal Space Agency and NASA documents and press briefings. Ko San was originally scheduled to fly, with Yi Soyeon as his backup. On March 10, 2008, it was announced that Ko San breached regulations surrounding removal of books from the training center in Russia, and therefore would not be allowed to fly. Yi Soyeon spent eight days conducting scientific experiments aboard the International Space Station.

Yi Soyeon was the first space traveller from South Korea. Following a two-day solo flight Soyuz TMA-12 docked to ISS on April 10, 2008. Sergei Volkov and Oleg Kononenko replaced Expedition 16 crew members Peggy Whitson and Yuri Malenchenko.

The Soyuz spacecraft is composed of three elements attached end-to-end - the Orbital Module, the Descent Module and the Instrumentation/Propulsion Module. The crew occupied the central element, the Descent Module. The other two modules are jettisoned prior to re-entry. They burn up in the atmosphere, so only the Descent Module returned to Earth.
The deorbit burn lasted 261.4 seconds. Having shed two-thirds of its mass, the Soyuz reached Entry Interface - a point 400,000 feet (121.9 kilometers) above the Earth, where friction due to the thickening atmosphere began to heat its outer surfaces. With only 23 minutes left before it lands on the grassy plains of central Asia, attention in the module turned to slowing its rate of descent.
Eight minutes later, the spacecraft was streaking through the sky at a rate of 755 feet (230 meters) per second. Before it touched down, its speed slowed to only 5 feet (1.5 meter) per second, and it lands at an even lower speed than that. Several onboard features ensure that the vehicle and crew land safely and in relative comfort.
Four parachutes, deployed 15 minutes before landing, dramatically slowed the vehicle's rate of descent. Two pilot parachutes were the first to be released, and a drogue chute attached to the second one followed immediately after. The drogue, measuring 24 square meters (258 square feet) in area, slowed the rate of descent from 755 feet (230 meters) per second to 262 feet (80 meters) per second.
The main parachute was the last to emerge. It is the largest chute, with a surface area of 10,764 square feet (1,000 square meters). Its harnesses shifted the vehicle's attitude to a 30-degree angle relative to the ground, dissipating heat, and then shifted it again to a straight vertical descent prior to landing.
The main chute slowed the Soyuz to a descent rate of only 24 feet (7.3 meters) per second, which is still too fast for a comfortable landing. One second before touchdown, two sets of three small engines on the bottom of the vehicle fired, slowing the vehicle to soften the landing.


Yi Soyeon landed on April 19, 2008 at 08:29:43.8 UTC with Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft.

Photos / Graphics

Soyuz TMA spacecraft Soyuz TMA landing module
Soyuz TMA-12 rollout Soyuz TMA-12 on launch pad
Soyuz TMA-12 launch Arrival of Soyuz TMA-12 at the ISS
Soyuz TMA-12 landing Soyuz TMA-12 recovery


Last update on March 29, 2020.