Human Spaceflights

International Flight No. 297

Soyuz TMA-15M



Patch Soyuz TMA-15M Futura patch

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Patch Soyuz TMA-15M

Launch, orbit and landing data

Launch date:  23.11.2014
Launch time:  21:01:13.881 UTC
Launch site:  Baikonur
Launch pad:  31
Altitude:  408 - 417 km
Inclination:  51.65°
Docking ISS:  24.11.2014, 02:48:21 UTC
Undocking ISS:  11.06.2015, 10:20:05 UTC
Landing date:  11.06.2015
Landing time:  13:43:56.7 UTC
Landing site:  47°19'51.6" N, 69°45'19.2" E

walkout photo

Crew Soyuz TMA-15M

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alternative crew photo

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No.   Surname Given names Position Flight No. Duration Orbits
1  Shkaplerov  Anton Nikolayevich  Commander 2 199d 16h 42m 43s  3107 
2  Cristoforetti  Samantha  Flight Engineer 1 199d 16h 42m 43s  3107 
3  Virts  Terry Wayne, Jr.  Flight Engineer 2 199d 16h 42m 43s  3107 

Crew seating arrangement

1  Shkaplerov
2  Cristoforetti
3  Virts
Soyuz TMA spacecraft
1  Shkaplerov
2  Cristoforetti
3  Virts

Backup Crew

No.   Surname Given names Position
1  Kononenko  Oleg Dmitriyevich  Commander
2  Yui  Kimiya  Flight Engineer
3  Lindgren  Kjell Norwood  Flight Engineer
Crew Soyuz TMA-15M backup
Patch Soyuz TMA-15M backup

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Launch vehicle:  Soyuz-FG (No. 15M136S T15000-051)
Spacecraft:  Soyuz TMA-15M (TMA-M No. 715)


Launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. ISS Expedition 42 / 43. Landing 162 km southeast of Dzheskasgan.

Following an only six-hours solo flight Soyuz TMA-15M docked to ISS on November 24, 2014. Anton Shkaplerov, Samantha Cristoforetti and Terry Virts became the ISS Expedition 42 (together with ISS Expedition 41 crew members Aleksandr Samokutyayev, Yelena Serova and Barry Wilmore).

After the loss of Progress M-27M it was announced that the landing of Soyuz TMA-15M will be delayed for about a month.

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 280 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.

Graphics / Photos

Soyuz TMA spacecraft Soyuz TMA landing module
crew in training crew in training
Soyuz TMA-15M rollout Soyuz TMA-15M rollout
Soyuz TMA-15M erection Soyuz TMA-15M on the launch pad
Soyuz TMA-15M launch Crew Soyuz TMA-15M inflight
landing preparations Soyuz TMA-15M landing
Soyuz TMA-15M landing Soyuz TMA-15M recovery


Last update on August 13, 2020.