Specialists from S.P. Korolev Rocket-Space Corporation Energia in collaboration with the International Space Station (ISS) crew initiated conduct of geophysical Microsatellite experiment. Microsatellite (MS) Chibis-M which had been in autonomous flight since January 24, 2012, was launched from transport cargo vehicle (TCV) Progress M-13M.
On January 25 at 03 hours:18 minutes:30 seconds Moscow Time, the MS launch was performed on the command, issued by Moscow Mission Control Center (MCC-M) to the space vehicle in accordance with the decision taken by Lead Operational Control Team (LOCT), with the Flight Director - V.A. Solovyov, the first Deputy General Designer of RSC Energia.
1. MS Chibis-M was delivered to the ISS in transport and launch container (TLC) made part of the cargoes accommodated in TCV Progress M-13M. Prior to TCV undocking from the ISS, the ISS-30 expedition Russian cosmonauts had performed the required operations to change over TLC (with the MS) from a transport position to an operating position by fastening the container with MS to the docking unit ring.
2. MS Chibis-M upon separation from TCV Progress M-13 performs an autonomous flight without any interface with the ISS and is controlled via dedicated ground control complex located in Kaluga.
3. According to data of the MCC-M ballistic service, the MS orbital parameters are the following: minimum altitude above the Earth's surface is 497.535 km; maximum altitude is 513.607 km; orbital period is 94.55 min; inclination is 51.62 degrees.
4. On October 30, 2011 TCV Progress M-13M was launched to the ISS; on November 2, 2011 it was docked to the Pirs module port of the station, thereafter, on January 24, 2012 at 2 hours:09 minutes:35 seconds it was undocked from the Module; whereupon the Progress M-13M was transferred to an orbit of about 500 km by altitude. On January 25, 2012, at 06 hours:25 minutes Moscow Time the vehicle was deorbited. Its structural elements not being destroyed in the terrestrial atmosphere reached preset area on the Pacific Ocean at, approximately, 7 hours:18 minutes Moscow Time.
5. MS Chibis is developed at the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The MS mass is about 40 kg; its overall dimensions in operational state with the antennas and solar array panels deployed are 1250x966 mm. By its developers' estimate, the satellite active life is at least 1 year.