Steps of ISS assembly

Spacecraft Launch date Landing date Station element
5 Zvezda July 12, 2000 up to now Service Module Zvezda is the third ISS module

Assembly work on the flight unit of the Service Module (SM) started in April 1997 at the Khrunichev State Scientific-and-Production Space Center.

The Service Module is the most complex and critical element of the Russian segment and of the entire international Space Station. It addresses the tasks of the centralized digital control of the entire space station, performance of attitude control modes, orbital reboost and correction, crew life support, control of the equipment that provides the necessary habitable environment parameters within the closed volume for the duration of a continuous manned mission.

On June 1, 1998, the Service Module was delivered to S.P. Korolev RSC Energia.

By May 1999, the work on the SM manufacturing, assembly and outfitting was, for the most part, completed. Concurrently with SM manufacturing, its instruments, equipment and systems (more than 200 types of items) were tested.

On April 26, 1999, the certificate of the Service Module "Zvezda" readiness for transportation to the Baikonur launch site processing facility was signed.

On May 19, 1999, the Service Module was delivered to Baikonur for the final cycle of pre-launch processing and the launch.

Service Module
pre-launch processing at Baikonur.

On July 12, 2000 Service Module Zvezda was successfully inserted into the target Earth orbit by the Russian launch vehicle Proton-K.

After deployment of the solar arrays and onboard antennae providing the orbit radio monitoring and communication with the Earth as well as the onboard systems tests performance, the module orbit was risen by means of several burns of the propulsion system up to 350 km to provide conditions required for its docking with modules Zarya-Unity.

On August 26, 2000 Service Module Zvezda was successfully docked with modules Zarya-Unity. Complex Zvezda-Zarya-Unity with a mass of about 52.5 tons began on-orbit operation.