February 26, 2001 Baikonur Cosmodrome
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
- 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
- Module Destiny (docked to the axial port of module
Unity on February 2, 2001.)