on the docking of the Soyuz TMA-3 transport spacecraft
with the International Space Station

October 20, 2003. Korolev, Moscow area

The Russian Soyuz TMA-3 manned transport spacecraft has been docked to the Orbital Complex of the International Space Station (ISS). Contact of the spacecraft docking assembly with the docking port of the Pirs (Piers) Docking Compartment-Module took place at 11:16 Moscow daylight saving time when the spacecraft and complex were in the radio visibility of Russian ground measuring stations.
The Soyuz TMA-3 spacecraft approached the ISS Orbital Complex after two days of the autonomous flight on the near-earth orbit, completing on the final portion of this phase all necessary operations on rendezvous with the complex and final approach to it in the automatic mode.
Transfer hatches between the spacecraft and Pirs module were opened at 14:16 upon completion of operations on mechanical capture, tightening up and interface sealing check. The spacecraft crew consisting of Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri, American astronaut Michael Foale as well as European Space Agency astronaut Pedro Duque from Spain moved to the Russian Segment of the station.
The spacecraft fly-around, rendezvous and final approach were observed by the main ISS Expedition 7 crew (ISS-7 crew) and personnel from Russian and American Mission Control Centers, among them through coming trajectory-measurement, telemetry and TV information, including information from external onboard TV cameras located on the Russian and USOS Segments of ISS.
On board the Orbital Complex stays a joint international crew: Russian cosmonauts Yu. Malenchenko (ISS-7 Commander), A. Kaleri (ISS-8 Flight Engineer), American astronauts Ed. Lu (ISS-7 Flight Engineer), Michael Foale (ISS-8 Commander) and ESA astronaut Pedro Duque from Spain (EP-5 Flight Engineer). They have to work together on board the complex during eight days. For this time the cosmonauts and astronauts will perform the planned scientific and technological studies and experiments, among them under the Cervantes program (ESA).
The ISS-7 crew return to Earth on the Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft is planned for October 28th, 2003 with the landing at 5:36 Moscow time.
At the present time the ISS complex weighing about 188.3 t incorporates: Zarya Functional Cargo Block, Zvezda Service Module, Pirs Docking Compartment-Module, Soyuz TMA-2 and Soyuz TMA-3 manned spacecraft, Progress M-48 cargo vehicle (Russian Segment), as well as Yuniti and Destini modules, Quest air lock and multilink truss structure with deployed solar arrays (USOS Segment).
Flight control of the ISS Russian Segment is exercised from MCC-M (Korolev, Moscow area) in interaction with the American Mission Control Center MCC-H (Houston, USA). Pilot-cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev is Flight Director.
The complex conducts flight on the near-earth orbit with the following parameters: maximum altitude - 401.3 km, minimum altitude- 376,7 km, period of revolution around Earth - 92.0 min.
The onboard systems of transport spacecraft and modules of the complex are functioning in the calculated mode. The joint crew is performing on orbit the activities under the flight program.
At MCC-M during the maneuvers of the Soyuz TMA-3 spacecraft rendezvous and docking with ISS were present members of State Commission (Co-chairmen: Rosaviakosmos First Deputy General Director N.F. Moiseyev, TsNIIMASh Deputy Director V.A. Grin) and Technical Management of Nanned Space Programs (Technical Manager of Russia's Manned Programs - Korolev RSC Energia General Designer, Academician Yu.P. Semenov), as well as representatives of Russian enterprises and organizations involved in ISS program implementation.
Implementation of operations during rendezvous and docking were observed from MCC-M by NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight William Readdy, ESA Director of Manned Spaceflight and Microgravity Joerg Feustel-Bueechl, General Director of the Spanish Center of Industrial Technology Development Vicente Homes, representatives of Rosaviakosmos, NASA, ESA, Spanish business circles, leading Russian and foreign information agencies and TV companies.
After docking took place a press-conference for the Russian and foreign mass-media representatives available at MCC-M. Among the participants of the press-conference were: Co-Chairmen of the State Commission N.F. Moiseyev and V.A. Grin, Technical Manager of Russia's Manned Programs, Korolev RSC Energia General Designer, Academician Yu.P. Semenov, TsNIIMASh General Director, Academician N.A. Anfimov, Gagarin RGNIIB TsPK (Cosmonaut Training Center) First Deputy Director V.G. Korsun, NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight William Readdy, ISS Program Manager William Gestenmayer, ESA Director of Manned Spaceflight and Microgravity Joerg Feustel-Bueechl, General Director of the Spanish Center of Industrial Technology Development Vicente Homes.
In the first TV communication session with ISS held after the meeting of Soyuz TMA-3 spacecraft and ISS-7 crews, Co-Chairman of the State Commission V.A. Grin, NASA Associate Administrator for Space Flight William Readdy, ESA Director of Manned Spaceflight and Microgravity Joerg Feustel-Bueechl congratulated A. Kaleri, M.Foale, P. Duque on arrival at the station and wished the joint international crew a successful work on the flight program.





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