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Home > Space Patches > Soyuz TM and TMA Flights to the International Space Station
Soyuz TMA-21 Official Mission Embroidered Patch
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Soyuz TMA-21 Official Mission Embroidered Patch 

Soyuz TMA-21 ("Gagarin") is a current Soyuz flight to the International Space Station. It transported three members of the Expedition 27 crew to the International Space Station. TMA-21 is the 109th flight of a Soyuz spacecraft, the first flight launching in 1967. The Soyuz will most likely remain on board the space station for the Expedition 27 increment to serve as an emergency escape vehicle.

The launch of Soyuz TMA-21 was devoted to the 50th anniversary of the first space mission by Yuri Gagarin.

The Soyuz TMA-21 spacecraft launched on schedule from the Baikonur Cosmodrome's Gagarin's Start launch pad, at 23:18:20 UTC on April 4, 2011. Souyz Commander Samokutyaev was launched from the Soyuz's center seat with flight engineer Borisenko strapped in to his left and NASA astronaut Ronald Garan on his right.

The Soyuz-FG rocket followed a nominal ascent, and successfully inserted the spacecraft into orbit 8 minutes and 45 seconds after liftoff.[14] In orbit, the spacecraft deployed its two solar panels and communications antennas as planned.

Samokutyayev, carried a small stuffed dog given to him by his daughter. Hanging in front of the crew, live NASA TV launch footage showed that the dog begun to float as the spacecraft soared skywards, an indication of the weightlessness of space.[15] "Launch was great, and we are in orbit and we are doing great," said Samokutyaev after the launch.[16] Replying back the Moscow Mission Control said "This is a great anniversary flight, and have a great one".