Soyuz TMA-04M was a spaceflight to Low Earth orbit that transported three members of the Expedition 31 crew to the International Space Station (ISS), which was launched on 15 May 2012 and landed on 17 September 2012. TMA-04M was the Soyuz spacecraft's 113th flight since its initial launch in 1967, and the fourth launch of the improved Soyuz TMA-M series (first launched 7 October 2010). As per the mission plan, the spacecraft remained docked to the space station to serve as an emergency escape vehicle during Expedition 31.
The mission was successfully launched to the International Space Station from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Tuesday, 15 May 2012, at 3:01:23 UTC (9:01:23 local time). The Soyuz docked successfully with the ISS on 17 May at 4:36 UTC. The spacecraft carried to the ISS a three-person crew (Gennady Padalka, Russia; Sergei Revin, Russia; Joseph Acaba, United States). The mission landed successfully in Kazakhstan on 17 September 2012, at 2:53 UTC.
The insignia depicts the Earth, crowned by the Russian exploration ship Nadezhda, captained by Ivan Fedorovich Kruzenshtern on the first Russian round-the-world expedition from 1803 to 1806. "More than two centuries later, the Russian manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-04M is in orbit around our home planet, on its way towards the International Space Station for continued exploration of space and on-orbit research," according to the emblem's official description. The patch is framed by a ring, inspired by a compass rose, indicating the four cardinal directions, and bronze instruments like the sextant and the astrolabe. Describing the emblem's use of a nautical motif, Padalka said that it was intended to evoke "traveling in deep space with an international crew."