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OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
on the return of the ISS Primary Expedition 7 crew
and ESA astronaut Pedro Duque to Earth
 

October 28, 2003. Korolev, Moscow area

The Primary Expedition 7 crew International Space Station (ISS) - Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (ISS-7 commander, Soyuz TMA-2 commander), American astronaut Edward Lu (ISS-7 flight engineer, Soyuz TMA-2 flight engineer-1) - and European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut, Visiting Expedition 5 (VE-5) flight engineer, Soyuz TMA-2 flight engineer-2 Pedro Duquer of Spain have returned to Earth in the Descent Module (DM) of the Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft.
The spacecraft was undocked on October 28th , 2003 from the Zarya Module of the Russian Segment of the station at 2:17 a.m Moscow time on the command of the Mission Control Center (MCC-M) outside Moscow.
The spacecraft flight on the portion of return to Earth has been implemented in the mode of an automatic controlled descent. As result of a calculated brake burn issued by its Propulsion System whose activation was made at 4:47 a.m., the spacecraft was transferred to the descent trajectory on which at 5:14 a.m. its nominal separation was carried out to Descent Module, Orbital and Instrumentation/Propulsion Compartments. At 5:17 a.m. DM entered the Earth atmosphere and at 5:40. landed in the specified area located near the town of Arkalyk of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The coordinates of the calculated point are: 49.55? N latitude and 66.57? E longitude. The DA descent with a parachute and its soft landing were performed under a nominal landing system operation program.
Evacuation of the crew and DA from the landing area was performed under a nominal program.
At MCC-M during the operations of the final phase of the Soyuz TMA-2 manned spacecraft flight were present: from the Russian side - 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, Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center RGNIITs Director Major-General V.V. Tsybleyev, Rosaviakosmos representatives, key specialists of RSC Energia, Russian enterprises and organizations involved in the ISS program implementation; from the American side - NASA Management representatives, as well as ESA representatives, families and relatives of the Soyuz TMA-2 crewmembers.
The flight tasks of ISS-7 Expedition and VE-5 Expedition have been fulfilled successfully.
ESA astronaut Pedro Duque of Spain in the course of an eight-day flight performed scientific experiments and studies within the scope of the Cervantes program.
The Soyuz TMA-2 crew prior to its return to Earth stowed into the Descent Module the cargoes totally weighing about 50 kg with the study results obtained under Russian, American, European and commercial programs, tried out the operations of complex escape and descent to Earth. The crew performed also the necessary medical studies and physical exercises to prepare for deorbiting.
The crew actions in the final phase of its flight (when preparing the spacecraft for its undocking from the station and descent) are being analyzed.
The Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft having been in flight 185 days, of which 183 days - as an assured crew return vehicle of the ISS Orbital Complex, has been replaced with the Soyuz TMA-3 spacecraft that delivered to the station the Primary Expedition 8 crew (ISS-8 crew) - Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri (Soyuz TMA-3 commander, ISS-8 flight engineer, RSC Energia instructor-cosmonaut-tester) and American astronaut Michael Foale (Soyuz TMA-3 flight engineer, ISS-8 commander, NASA astronaut).
The spacecraft of Soyuz TMA series being a Soyuz-type manned spacecraft modification to operate within the scope of the ISS project have been developed by Korolev RSC Energia team in cooperation with the associate contractors of the Russian rocket and space industry.
The Soyuz TMA-2 flight control in the phase of its return to Earth was exercised by the Main Operational Management Group (GOGU) residing at MCC-M (the Flight Director is pilot-cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev) and working in concert with the specialists of the American Mission Control Center (Houston).
The ISS Orbital Complex continues its flight on the near-earth orbit with a 51.65? inclination, a maximum and minimum altitude of 401.4 and 376.9 km, respectively, and a 92.1 min. period of rotation around Earth.
At the present time the operating Orbital Complex weighing about 181.5 t incorporates the Zarya Functional Cargo Block, the Zvezda Service Module, the Pirs Docking Compartment-Module, the Soyuz TMA-3 manned spacecraft, the Progress M-48 cargo vehicle (Russian Segment), the Unity and Destiny Modules, the Quest Airlock and a large multi-link truss structure with the solar array panels deployed thereon (United States On-Orbit Segment).
The ISS-8 crew continuously performs on orbit the flight program operations. The crew rotation is scheduled for the time of implementing the flight program of the Soyuz TMA-4 spacecraft whose launch is planned for the spring 2004.

The basic data on the Soyuz TMA spacecraft and the experiment program fulfilled during the VE-5 expedition implementation are presented on RSC Energia Internet website, respectively:
www.energia.ru/eng/iss/soyuz-tma/soyuz-tma.html;
www.energia.ru/eng/iss/researches/cervantes.html.

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