August 11th, 2004. Baikonur Cosmodrome.
At 9 hours 3 minutes 7 seconds Moscow Time the Rocket and
Space Complex Soyuz-U/Progress M-50 was launched.
The objective of the launch performed under the International
Space Station (ISS) Mission Program and the commitments
undertaken by the Russian side is to deliver to the station
the cargoes required to keep its operation, maintain crew
living conditions and activities, refuel its tanks with
propellant and gases, ensure orbital correction.
The mission of the cargo transport vehicle has designation
15P under the ISS deployment program.
The cargo space vehicle compartment of refueling propellants
accommodates 442 kg of fuel, 28 kg of oxygen, 21 kg of air,
420 kg of potable water. Its cargo bay contains some 1.4
tons of dry cargoes, involving food products, equipment
and facilities for the station onboard systems, medical
equipment, underclothes, personal hygiene and individual
protection aids, sets of onboard documentation, video-and
photographic materials, parcels for crewmembers, structural
members, payloads for the USOS, equipment and materials
for conducting space experiments.
The cargo transport vehicle was put into orbit with maximum
and minimum altitudes of 250,9 kg and 192.5 km, respectively;
orbital period of 88,65 min and inclination of 51.65°.
Its onboard systems operate normally.
The cargo transport vehicle is to dock with the ISS on August
14th, 2004 approaching an axial docking assembly of the
Russian Zvezda Service Module. The estimated time of coming
in contact with the docking assembly is 09 : 02. The docking
assembly was released on July 30th, 2004, when the Progress
M-49 cargo transport vehicle operating as part of the Complex
since May 27th, 2004, had departed from the station.
After undocking with the ISS, that space vehicle was moved
away at a safe distance and subsequently transferred to
the trajectory of descent and escaping the orbit and, finally,
to the preset area in the Pacific Ocean waters.
The decision on the Soyuz-U/Progress M-50 Complex launch
was taken by the State Commission (with N.F. Moiseev, V.A.
Grin as its Co-Chairmen) relying on the Technical Management's
conclusion on the readiness of the Complex and the ground
infrastructure components involved in the ISS Program implementation.
The Complex prelaunch processing was carried out under direct
lead of the Technical Management (Yu.P. Semenov, Technical
Manager of the Russian manned space programs, General Designer
of RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev, the RAS academician).
The flight of the cargo transport vehicle and the ISS Russian
Segment is commanded by the Lead Operational Control Team
(LOCT) based in Moscow Mission Control Center (MCC-M, Korolev).
The Flight Director is Pilot-Cosmonaut V.A. Solovyov from
RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev. The Orbital Complex is flying
in a near-earth orbit with the following parameters: maximum
and minimum altitudes of 378.2 km and 355.0 km, respectively;
an orbital period of 91.6 min and inclination of 51.65°.
The ISS Russian Segment incorporates Functional Cargo Block
Zarya, Zvezda Service Module, docking module Pirs and Soyuz
TMA-4 manned transport spacecraft. The USOS is operating
made up of the following components: Unity module, Destiny
module, airlock Quest and multielement truss structure with
solar arrays deployed. Total mass of the Complex is about
By telemetry data and reports produced by the crewmembers
of Expedition 9, Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka (Commander)
and American astronaut Michael Fincke (Flight Engineer),
all onboard systems of the Orbital Complex are operating
in design modes.
The Orbital Complex is ready to dock with the cargo transport