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
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
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.