May 27, 2004. Korolev, Moscow Region.
Russian unmanned logistics spacecraft Progress M-49 launched
from Baikonur on May 25, 2004, has docked today with the
International Space Station (ISS) after two days of free
flight in low Earth orbit.
The spacecraft made its approach to a free axial docking
port on the Service Module Zvezda of the ISS. The initial
contact occurred at 17:55 Moscow Daylight Saving Time. The
spacecraft approach to the ISS, its fly-around and docking
were performed in an automated mode. At the final stage
of the spacecraft approach to the space station, during
its fly-around and docking they were within the visibility
zone of the Russian ground tracking stations.
The crew of the ninth expedition to ISS (ISS-9) - Russian
cosmonaut Gennadi Padalka (commander, Gagarin Cosmonaut
Training Center) and US astronaut Michael Fincke - who are
working on board the space station were monitoring the rendezvous
Progress M-49 has delivered more than 2.5 tons of various
cargoes, including 640 kg of propellant in its refueling
system tanks. Russian spacesuit Orlan-M for extravehicular
activities, food rations, natural form foods, parcels for
the crew, more than 220 kg for the US segment of ISS.
ISS-9 crew is to unload the spacecraft and stow the delivered
cargoes onboard the space station, and load into it spent
materials and equipment.
The ISS space station having a mass of about 182.1 metric
tons flies in a low Earth orbit with the following parameters:
maximum altitude of 382.5 km, minimal altitude of 359.4
km; orbital period of 91.7 min.
The Russian segment of the space station currently consists
of the Functional Cargo Module (FGB) Zarya, Service Module
Zvezda, Docking Module Pirs, transportation spacecraft Soyuz
TMA-4 and Progress M-49. The configuration of the US orbital
segment has not changed and consists of Unity and Destiny
modules, Quest airlock and a multi-element truss structure
carrying deployed solar arrays. The on-board systems of
the spacecraft and space station modules operate as designed.
The mission of the Russian segment is controlled by the
Lead Operations Control Team (LOCT) at the Mission Control
Center (MCC-M) in Korolev, Moscow region, in cooperation
with the US Mission Control Center (MCC-H), Houston. The
Flight Director at MCC-H is pilot-cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev,
Present at MCC-M during the docking of the logistics spacecraft
with ISS were: the Technical Manager of the Russian manned
space programs, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Yu.P.Semenov (Designer General of S. P. Korolev RSC Energia),
co-chairman of the State Commission V.A. Grin, representatives
of the Russian Federal Space Agency and NASA, subcontractors
and organizations in the industry involved in the manufacturing,
processing, and launch of Progress M-49 and controlling
of the Russian Segment of the space station.
Upon completion of the docking, the Flight Director V.A.
Soloviev answered questions from Russian and foreign journalists
of information agencies and TV companies who were present