NASA Logo, National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Space Science Data Coordinated Archive Header

Soyuz-TMA 16M

NSSDCA ID: 2015-016A
COSPAR ID: 2015-018A


A Soyuz FG rocket launched the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft from the Baikonur Cosmodrome ahead of a successful docking with the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday. Onboard the Russian workhorse were Cosmonauts Gennady Padalka and Mikail Kornienko, along with NASA astronaut Scott Kelly. Kornienko and Kelly will both spend a full year on the orbital outpost.

Kornienko has already logged 176 days 1 hour and 18 minutes in space, flying on Soyuz TMA-18 and serving as ISS-23 flight engineer. He also has a spacewalk to his name.

The Russian will be spending a full year on Station, with the valuable scientific data collected providing insight into how the human body responds to longer durations in space.

He was joined by NASA veteran flyer Scott Kelly, who flew on two shuttle missions and served as Expedition 26 commander during a six-month tour of the Station.

During his one-year stay on the orbital outpost, Kelly will serve as Flight Engineer for increments 43 and 44 and Commander for increments 45 and 46. During his tour, his twin brother – former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly – will also be monitored to measure the differences between one year on Earth and 12 months in space.

The goal will be to gain additional data ahead of NASA’s future goals that await in Beyond Earth Orbit (BEO) space, on long-duration missions to asteroids and eventually Mars.

2015-03-27 14_28_47-Gennady Padalka - Google SearchThe third member of Soyuz TMA-16M, Gennady Padalka, should not be overlooked. While the focus has been on his fellow Soyuz passengers, Padalka will also be realizing another milestone at the conclusion of his ISS expedition – as he becomes the most experienced space traveler in history.

He will also become the first four-time commander of the International Space Station.

When Padalka departs the ISS and returns to Earth later this year, he will have spent a record 878 days in space combined. 878 days works out to about 29 months of space flight.

Alternate Names

  • 40542
  • SoyuzTMA16M

Facts in Brief

Launch Date: 2015-03-27
Launch Vehicle: Soyuz FG
Launch Site: Tyuratam (Baikonur Cosmodrome), Kazakhstan


  • Human Crew

Additional Information

Questions and comments about this spacecraft can be directed to: Coordinated Request and User Support Office

[] NASA Logo -