about the launch of Soyuz TM-33 transportation vehicle

October 21, 2001. Baikonur launch site.

The implementation of the large-scale International Space Station (ISS) continues.
Today at 12 hours 59 minutes 35 seconds Moscow Summer Time (8:59 a.m. GMT), a Russian manned transport spacecraft Soyuz TM-33 was launched from Baikonur launch site. The launch was performed with Soyuz-U rocket.
The mission objective is to perform a planned replacement of Soyuz TM-32 spacecraft, which has been operating as a part of the ISS space station since April 30, 2001 as a crew rescue vehicle. Other objectives of the mission include: conducting on-board the space station activities under the program of the second Russian visiting mission to the space station, including conducting space experiments and studies under French Andromeda program; providing technical support for the third main crew mission to ISS (ISS-3).
The mission has designation 3S under the ISS deployment program and is a continuation of the Russian-French cooperation in space.
The spacecraft was put into its target low-Earth orbit with inclination of 51.66, minimum and maximum altitudes of 191.3 and 226.5 km, respectively. The orbital period is 88.42 minutes.
The Russian-French crew of the spacecraft consists of Russian cosmonaut Victor Afanasiev (Crew Commander, Instructor-test-cosmonaut of Yu. Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center (TsPK), making his fourth flight into space), French astronaut Claudie Haignere (Flight Engineer-1, European Space Agency, representative of French National Center of Space Research (CNES)), who has a previous space flight experience and will be the first representative of France on-board ISS, and Konstantin Kozeev (Flight Engineer-2, Test Cosmonaut of S.P.Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Russia).
The main expedition crew ISS-3 working on-board the space station and consisting of F.Culbertson (Commander), V.Dezhurov (Pilot, Commander of Soyuz TM spacecraft) and M.Turin (Flight Engineer - Test Cosmonaut of RSC Energia), on October 19, 2001 flew Soyuz TM-32 spacecraft, taking it from the nadir docking port of the Functional Cargo Module Zarya and re-docking it to the docking port of the new Russian module Pirs, and are now completing preparations of the space station for the docking with Soyuz TM-33 and their meeting with the second visiting crew.
The docking of the spacecraft is set for October 23, 2001 with initial contact with the cleared nadir docking port of the Zarya module of ISS scheduled for about 3 p.m.
The second visiting crew, during their ten-day mission, which includes 8 days of work on-board the space station, will prepare Soyuz TM-32 for its return to Earth, and also conduct various experiments and studies with participation of ISS-3 crew, including experiments under Andromeda program.
The landing of the Soyuz TM-32 descent vehicle is scheduled for October 31, 2001.
Processing and launch of Soyuz TM-33 at the launch site were performed under the direction of the Technical Director of the Russian manned space program, Designer General of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Yu.P. Semenov.
The spacecraft mission is controlled by the Lead Operations Control Team (LOCT), located at the Mission Control Center near Moscow (MCC-M) working in cooperation with the specialists of the US mission control (Houston). LOCT team includes managers and leading specialists of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, specialists from other companies and organizations. The Flight Director is cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev.
The preparations for the launch and the launch were witnessed by Rosaviacosmos Director General Yu.N.Koptev and representatives of the French Embassy to the Russian Federation, Russian Aviation and Space Agency, European Space Agency (ESA), French space agency (CNES), national aviation and space agency of Kazakhstan Republic, a large team of reporters from the leading Russian and foreign information afgencies and TV companies.
Ambassador of France to Russia Claude Blanchemaison observed the launch of the spacecraft from MCC-M.





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