December 23, 2007. Baikonur launch site,
branch office of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia
In accordance with the mission plan of the International Space Station (ISS) and Russian commitments under the ISS project, cargo transportation spacecraft Progress M-62 was launched from Baikonur launch site at 10:12:41 Moscow Time.
The objective of the launch is to deliver to ISS more than 2.4 tons of various cargoes that are needed to support the operation of the space station in manned mode and provide living and working conditions for the crew. Sent from the ground to the orbit were supplies of oxygen, water and food, propellants, consumables, scientific instrumentation and equipment.
The spacecraft was put into a parking orbit with the following parameters: 51.65° inclination, 193.63 km minimal altitude, 251.56 km maximum altitude, 88.65 minutes orbital period.
The onboard systems of the spacecraft operate as designed.
At the launch site, the spacecraft prelaunch processing and launch were performed under the direction of the State Commission (chaired by the head of Roscosmos A.N.Perminov). The Commission was making its decisions to proceed with each next step in processing and launching based on the opinions of the Technical Management headed by the President of RSC Energia, Designer General V.A.Lapota.
According to the telemetry data and reports from the crew of ISS Expedition 16, the space station systems operate in normal mode. The station is ready for docking with the spacecraft.
The spacecraft docking with ISS is scheduled for December 26, 2007, 11:26 Moscow Time, to the docking port on the Pirs docking compartment-module vacated on December 22 by Progress M-61 logistics spacecraft which switched to free flight mode.
- Currently working onboard ISS is a crew consisting of: Peggy Whitson (NASA astronaut, crew Commander), Yuri Malenchenko (test-cosmonaut Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Flight Engineer 1) and Daniel Mitio Tani (NASA astronaut, Flight Engineer 2).
- S.P.Korolev RSC Energia is the prime manned space flight organization in the Russian rocket and space industry, responsible for the development of the ISS Russian Segment, its integration into the Space Station and its operation, including development and operation of principal Russian modules (Zvezda, Pirs, etc.), manufacturing, launch and operation of Soyuz TMA and Progress M spacecraft.
- The launch of Progress M-62 spacecraft is the 28th launch within the framework of the Russian commitments under this project.
- The program of free flight of Progress M-61 calls for conducting space experiments to study Earth atmosphere and plasma blobs occurring during its thruster firings. Upon completion of a 30-day free flight, it is planned to command it into a reentry trajectory and bring it down to its designated impact area in the ocean.