From: RSC Energia
Posted: Saturday, April 26, 2003
The Russian Soyuz TMA-2 manned transport spacecraft was launched. It is the second spacecraft of a new modification developed on the basis of the Soyuz TM spacecraft in accordance with the intergovernmental agreement between Russia and the USA.
The launch of the Souyz-FG integrated launch vehicle with the Soyuz TMA-2 manned spacecraft was accomplished at 07:53:52 Moscow summer time.
The launch is intended to deliver the seventh prime crew (ISS-7) to the International Space Station, to carry out a planned replacement of the Soyuz TMA-1, which has been operating within the International Space Station since November 1, 2002 performing functions of the crew rescue vehicle. The crash of the U.S. Columbia Orbiter followed by the NASA Administration decision to suspend launches of U.S. Shuttles required revision of the orbital complex flight program by the countries involved in the ISS project. As a result, till Shuttle flight resumption the station manned flight implementation is placed on Russian Soyuz TMA manned spacecraft and Progress cargo vehicles with an appropriate change of the ISS crew number and the complement of ascent and descent cargoes.
The Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft crew includes Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, (commander, instructor-test cosmonaut of Yu.A. Gagarin RGNII TsPK, 3rd space flight) and NASA's astronaut Edward Lu (flight engineer, 3rd space flight). Yuri Malenchenko and Edward Lu already performed a joint space flight in September 2000 within the U.S. Atlantis Shuttle crew (STS-106).
In accordance with the ISS flight program the spacecraft flight is designated as 6S.
The main tasks of the expedition are: replacement of the ISS sixth prime crew, providing the station manned flight mode till arrival of the next prime crew, including implementation of operations on docking and undocking of Russian Soyuz TMA, Progress M, Progress M1 spacecraft of transport-engineering servicing in line with the program of 2003, implementation of research-application studies and experiments, as well as contact commercial activities, performance of work under the visiting crew (VC-5) program.
The spacecraft has been injected into a near-earth orbit with an inclination of 51.67°, minimum and maximum altitudes of 200.02 km and 250.15 km, respectively, the revolution is 88.72 min.
The Expedition crew ISS-6: U.S. astronauts Kenneth Bowersox (commander) and Donald Pettit (flight engineer), Russian cosmonaut Nikolai Mikhailovich Budarin (flight engineer, test cosmonaut of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia) implemented the Orbital Complex preparation for docking. The spacecraft docking is slated on 28 April 2003.
The contact to the Pirs module docking compartment port of the ISS orbital complex is at approximately 09:56.
The Soyuz-FG/Soyuz TMA-2 complex preparation was supervised by the Technical Management ( Technical Manager - Yu.P. Semenov, academician of RAS, General Designer of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia).
The decision on its launch was made by the State Board (co-chairmen: N.F Moiseev, State Secretary, First Deputy Director General of Rosaviakosmos; V.A. Grin, Deputy General Director of TsNII of Machinebuilding) based on the conclusion of the Technical Management on the readiness of the complex and ground infrastructure elements involved in the ISS program implementation. The Technical Management includes General designers and directors of prime contractors - developers and manufacturers of the complex's main components, systems and units.
The launch was watched by S.M. Mironov, Chairman of the Federation Board of the Federal Assembly of RF, delegates of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of RF, Yu.N. Koptev, General Director of Rosaviakosmos, representatives of NASA and other foreign space agencies, as well as representatives of the leading Russian and foreign information agencies and TV companies.
The spacecraft flight is commanded by the Lead Operational Control Team (LOCT) at the Mission Control Center (MCC-M), Moscow area, working in close cooperation with the specialists of the U.S. Mission Control Center (Houston). The LOCT includes the managers and leading specialists from S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, experts from other enterprises and organizations. The Flight Director is Pilot-Cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev.
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