April 28, 2001. Baikonur cosmodrome
At 11 hours 37 minutes 20 seconds Moscow Summer Time the
Russian Soyuz TM-32 manned transport vehicle was launched
by the Souyz-U launch vehicle from Baikonur cosmodrome in
support of the subsequent activities aimed at implementation
of the International Space Station (ISS) ambitious project.
The launch objective is to provide the scheduled change
of the Soyuz TM-31, which has been operating since November
2, 2000 as part of the International Space station (ISS)
and performs the services of assured crew return vehicle
staying permanently attached to the Complex when prime crew
is engaged in its activities aboard the ISS. In addition,
it is foreseen to conduct the activities aboard the Orbital
Complex under the Visiting Program and accomplish the tasks
of flight engineering for ISS-2 crew.
Under the ISS deployment program the flight is designated
The space vehicle is injected into a calculated near-earth
orbit with inclination of 51,63°, minimum and maximum flight
altitudes of 192,8 and 247,0 km, respectively. In so doing,
an orbital period is 88,60 min.
There is a three-man crew of the first russian visiting
expedition (VE-1) aboard the space vehicle: the Russian
cosmonauts Talgat Musabayev (Crew Commander), Yuri Baturin
(Flight Engineer) and the US citizen Dennis Tito, who got
pre-flight space training in the Russian Cosmonauts Training
Center after Yu.A. Gagarin, and will visit the ISS Orbital
Complex as a space tourist.
The space vehicle docking is scheduled to occur on April
30, 2001, while coming in contact with a free docking port
of the Zarya Module of the ISS Orbital Complex will be at
12:07 Moscow Time.
During implementation of the program the VE-1 crew will
get the Soyuz TM-31 vehicle ready for its undocking from
the station, perform autonomous flight and deorbiting. In
particular, the visiting crew will carry its personal couches
from the Soyuz TM-32 descent vehicle into it. During its
return to Earth the crew members will occupy the coaches.
Landing of the Soyuz TM-31 descent vehicle is slated for
May 6, 2001.
The Soyuz TM-32 vehicle prelaunch processing and launch
at Baikonur cosmodrome were performed under the direction
of the Technical Director of the Russian Manned Programs,
General Designer of RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev, the
academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Yu.P. Semenov.
The Soyuz TM-32 vehicle flight is commanded by the Lead
Operational Control Team (LOCT) housed in the Moscow Mission
Control Center (Korolev) and operating in a close cooperation
with the specialists of the American Mission Center based
in Houston. The LOCT involves the managers and leading specialists
from RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev, experts from other
enterprises and entities. Flight Director is Pilot-Cosmonaut