February 7, 2008. S.P. Korolev RSC Energia – MCC-M,
Korolev, Moscow region
Russian logistics spacecraft Progress M-63, after two days in free flight, docked with the International Space Station (ISS).
Proximity operations, fly-around maneuver and docking were performed in automatic mode. Initial contact with the docking port of the Pirs docking module/compartment occurred at 17:30 Moscow Time.
The spacecraft delivered to the station more than 2.5 tons of cargo, which consisted of oxygen, propellant, food, including natural form food, scientific equipment and hardware for the systems on the ISS Russian segment. Intended for the US orbital segment are 395 kg of cargo, which includes food, clothing, equipment for scientific research and operations in outer space.
ISS flies in low Earth orbit with minimum altitude of 332.0 km, and maximum altitude of 354.8 km. Its orbital period is 91.1 min.
Mission control and monitoring of the spacecraft systems status during rendezvous and docking were provided by the Lead Operations Control Team (LOCT), consisting of specialists from S.P.Korolev RSC Energia, Mission Control Center near Moscow, and other organizations in the industry (the Technical Manager is RSC Energia President and General Designer V.A.Lopota, the Flight Director is the First Deputy General Designer of RSC Energia V.A.Soloviev).
Present at MCC-M during the final operations of the spacecraft rendezvous and docking with ISS were: representatives of the State Commission (the Chairman is the head of Roscosmos A.N.Perminov), representatives of Roscosmos, subcontractor companies and organizations in the industry, managers and specialists of the Corporation.
The fly-around maneuver and the spacecraft docking with the space station were witnessed by representatives from NASA (USA), Japanese aerospace research agency and business circles of Japan, as well as aerospace research ministry of Korea.
Mission operations at this stage were controlled by LOCT in cooperation with specialists of the US Mission Control Center, Houston.
According to telemetry data and reports from the crew of the ISS Expedition 16, the on-board systems of the space station and spacecraft operate normally.
The crew of ISS-16 consisting of Peggy Whitson (NASA astronaut, crew Commander), Yuri Malenchenko (cosmonaut-tester of Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Flight Engineer 1) and Daniel Michio Tani (NASA astronaut, Flight Engineer 2), continue their work under the mission plan.
The ISS Russian Segment consists of the Functional and Cargo Module Zarya, Service Module Zvezda, Docking Compartment/Module Pirs, manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-11, unmanned cargo spacecraft Progress M-63.
The US Orbital Segment consists of modules Unity, Destiny, Harmony, Quest airlock, a truss carrying solar array panels and other additional equipment.
The Kennedy launch site (USA) continues preparations for the launch of Atlantis Orbiter scheduled to take place today at 22:45 Moscow Time.