September 17, S.P.Korolev RSC Energia - MCC-M,
Korolev, Moscow region
Russian logistics spacecraft Progress M-65, launched from the Baikonur launch site, after seven days in free flight, docked with the International Space Station (ISS).
The spacecraft docking, originally scheduled for September 13, was postponed at the US request because operations in the primary ISS Mission Control Center in Houston were suspended due to hurricane Ike.
Approach to the space station, its fly-around and docking were performed in automatic mode. The initial contact with the docking port on the instrumentation and propulsion compartment of the Zvezda Service Module of the ISS Russian Segment (RS) occurred at 22:43 Moscow Time.
The spacecraft delivered to the station about 2.5 tons of cargo. It consists of oxygen, water, propellant and food supplies, scientific equipment and hardware for the systems on the ISS Russian segment. Intended for the US orbital segment are 374 kg of cargo, which include food, clothes, equipment for scientific research and activities in open space.
ISS flies in low Earth orbit with minimum altitude of 349.5 km, and maximum altitude of 374.2 km. Its orbital period is 91.5 min.
The mission control and the 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), of Roscosmos, of subcontractor companies and organizations in the industry, managers and specialists of the Corporation.
The spacecraft flight around the station and docking with it were observed by representatives from NASA (USA).
Mission operations at this stage were controlled by LOCT in cooperation with specialists of the US backup Mission Control Center in Huntsville, Alabama, USA
The crew of ISS-17 consisting of: Sergei Volkov (cosmonaut tester of Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, crew commander), Oleg Kononenko (cosmonaut tester of S.P.Korolev RSC Energia, flight engineer-1) and Gregory Chamitoff (NASA astronaut, flight engineer-2) continue their work under the mission plan.
1. Performing the docking of Progress M-65 after 7 days in free flight had not been provided for in the engineering and flight documentation, which the Russian side had to promptly update in view of the off-nominal situation caused by hurricane Ike. Accomplishment of the updated mission plan and the spacecraft docking has demonstrated high operational and functional performance of the spacecraft and high level of skills of the LOCT and MCC-M specialists.
2. At present the ISS Russian Segment consists of: Functional and cargo module Zarya, Service Module Zvezda, docking compartment/module Pirs, manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-12, cargo transportation spacecraft Progress M-65.
3. The docking port on the instrumentation and propulsion compartment of the Zvezda module to which the cargo spacecraft Progress M-65 was docked, had been vacated on September 6, 2008, by the European cargo spacecraft ATV Jules Vern, which had been staying within ISS RS since April 3, 2008. At present it is in free flight, to be subsequently deorbited and brought down into the Pacific Ocean in late September, 2008.
4. The Russian Progress M-64 cargo spacecraft, which had been working within ISS RS from May 17 to September 1, 2008 docked with the Zarya module, on September 9, 2008 was deorbited and brought down into the ocean after performing Plasma-Progress experiment in free flight.