Progress M-44 Cargo Vehicle Launched to ISS

Status Report From: RSC Energia
Posted: Monday, February 26, 2001

At 11:09:35 Moscow Time the Progress M-44 transport cargo vehicle was launched to a near-earth orbit within the implementation of the Russian commitments under the International Space Station (ISS) program.

The launch is intended to deliver food, water, propellant components for refueling the combined propulsion system of the Russian Service module Zvezda, equipment to perform biomedical experiments, tool kit for repair activities, consumables for purification system for living compartments atmosphere, part of the equipment and materials to be required for of the next ISS prime crew life support and activities.

The vehicle has been injected into orbit with a maximum altitude of 249.8 km, minimum altitude of 193.5 km, inclination of 51.66 and revolution of 88.6 min. The vehicle onboard systems operate normally in a design mode.

The docking to the ISS is scheduled on February 28, 2001 at 12:50. The Progress M-44 transport cargo vehicle will be docked to the axial port of the module Zvezda on the side of the instrument compartment, that was cleared by Soyuz TM-31 manned vehicle on February 24, 2001 which occupied the docking port up to that time. Following a 1.5 hour manual transfer from the Zvezda module and Functional Cargo Block (FGB) on Soyuz TM-31 vehicle the ISS first prime crew docked it to the FGB nadir docking port.

The Progress M-44 cargo vehicle prelaunch processing and launch at Baikonur cosmodrome were accomplished under the direction of Yu.P. Semenov, Technical Manager of Russian Manned Programs, General Designer of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, Academician of RAS.

The flight control of the Progress M-44 cargo vehicle and ISS is implemented by Lead Operational Control Team (LOCT) at the Mission Control Center (MCC-M), Moscow area, Korolev. The flight director is pilot-cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev.

According to the telemetry information and first prime crew reports of Yury Gidzenko, Sergey Krikalev and William Shepherd all ISS systems operate normally, and the station is prepared to receive the vehicle.

The ISS currently operates in orbit consisting of:

  • Functional Cargo Block Zarya (launched on November 20, 1998),
  • Module Unity (docked to ISS on December 7, 1998),
  • Service Module Zvezda (docked on July 26, 2000),
  • Souyz TM-31 transport vehicle (docked to module Zvezda port on November 2, 2000), relocated on February 24, 2001 to FGB,
  • Module Destiny (docked to the axial port of module Unity on February 2, 2001.)

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