Launch of 6S/Soyuz is scheduled for Friday night, 4/25, at 11:54pm EDT.
The standard Soyuz launch-and-ascent template is as follows:
Soyuz (and Progress) fly a standard 34-orbit (2-day) timeline template from launch through docking. Actual day and time of launch must meet certain phasing requirements vis-à-vis the target (ISS) in order for this to work.
Flight operations are highly automated, reliant on stored program command timelines and standard command uplinks.
Same basic timeline for both Soyuz and Progress;
Soyuz crew activities are largely monitor-only functions, with a few exceptions;
Consequently, many systems activities occur only when Russian Ground Sites (RGS) are in line-of-sight (there are 5 RGS);
Rendezvous maneuvers are NOT constrained to occur over Russian tracking network. Post burn telemetry and tracked is used for maneuver assessment.
Soyuz/Progress vehicles are controlled by a separate, dedicated flight control team in MCC-Moscow (TsUP), not the ISS team.
Soyuz crew operates off the RODF (Russian orbital data file), i.e., five books, covering Ascent/Descent, Orbital Flight, Off-Nominal Situations, Reserve Modes, and Reference Materials, as well as standard radiogram formats. Medical Kit and Portable Survival Kit instructions are translated into English.
Crew returned to Baikonur from Moscow where they had final medical;
Exercise, spacecraft briefing, flight plan briefing, Soyuz Manual Docking simulation;
Practice using handheld laser for R and R-dot, P/TV Refresher.
Traditional events (Commission meetings on mission readiness at Baikonur Hotel)
Flight crew, backup crew, & flight surgeon, exercise, rest and study.
Day of Launch:
L-3 hours: Crew dons suits in test room
RSC-Energia presentation everything GO with crew and vehicle (RSA); Words from VIPs (i.e., Yuri Semyonov of RSC-Energia);
Crew takes bus to launch pad, “waters” tire about 200 meters from launch pad (old Gagarin tradition);
Spacecraft ingress (through orbital module down into descent module);
Ascent to orbit: takes 9 minutes. At L+9:00 the Soyuz spacecraft separates from the burnt-out booster, at 194 km altitude, 1710 km downrange from Baikonur.
Major crew action during ascent is to monitor pressures in the orbital module and descent module, confirm all booster separation, launch escape system jettison and spacecraft separation. Crew then monitors all deployments (solar arrays, antennae, etc.), reports on no leaks, probe extension, prop pressurization, and ECLS system and health.
First orbit should be about 233 x 182 km (average = 207 km). From there, the rendezvous profile follows the two-day standard timeline.