Energia Press Release on the Soyuz TM-31 (Expedition 1) Launch


In the scope of further activities on implementation of the International Space Station (ISS) large-scale project the Soyuz TM-31 spacecraft was launched with the use of the Soyuz-U launch vehicle (LV).

The spacecraft was launched at 10 hr. 52 min 47 sec. by Moscow legal time (at 7 hr. 52 min 47sec. by mean Greenwich time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome and injected into the calculated near-earth orbit having an inclination of 51.68*, minimum altitude of 190.0 km and maximum altitude of 248.6 km, orbital period of 88.59 min. All structural elements are assembled.

Onboard the spacecraft there is a crew of three men: the U.S. astronaut Bill Shepherd - ISS-1 commander, Soyuz TM-31 SC flight engineer-2 and two Russian cosmonauts Yuri Gidzenko - the Soyuz TM-31 SC commander and Sergei Krikalev - flight engineer.

The Russian cosmonauts are specialists in activities on the ISS Russian Segment, the integrator of the development of which is S.P. Korolev Rocket & Space Corporation Energia. This is the prime contractor engaged in the development of manned space programs of Russia including a program of ISS activities and it integrates a wide co-operation of subcontractors which include more than 200 Russian enterprises and organizations and a number of foreign contractors and companies as well.

The spacecraft flight according to the ISS assembly schedule is designated as 2R.

The Soyuz TM-31 SC flight objective is the docking with a 60-t ISS Orbital Complex and also the tasks solution of technical support of the next construction phase of this complex.

The spacecraft docking with the Complex is planned to be performed on November 02, 2000 (12 hr. 24 min by Moscow time, 9 hr. 24 min by Greenwich time).

The onboard systems operate in accordance with the selected modes.

The following is envisaged by the flight program of the ISS Expedition One crew:

  • the Zvezda Service Module systems activation;
  • the equipment installation, resupply of the Zvezda Service Module;
  • the Station serviceability keeping;
  • the Progress M1-4 vehicle docking;
  • the Progress M1-4 vehicle unloading;
  • the Progress M1-4 vehicle undocking;
  • Space Shuttle Orbiter ** 4A, 5A, 5A.1 docking;
  • redocking on the Soyuz TM-31 spacecraft with SM on FGB;
  • the Progress M-44 vehicle docking;
  • the scientific applied research program performance;
  • the ISS-1 Expedition crew descent on Space Shuttle Orbiter 5A.1 - on February 24, landing - on February 26, 2001.

The Main Operative Management Group (MOMG) being at the Moscow Mission Control Center (Korolev) and operating in co-operation with specialists of the U.S. Control Center (Houston) controls the Soyuz TM-31 SC flight. The MOMG members are heads and leading specialists of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, specialists of other enterprises and organizations. The Flight Director is flight cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev.

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