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OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
about Soyuz TMA-4 transport spacecraft launch to
the International Space Station
 

April 19, 2004. Baikonur Cosmodrome.

Soyuz TMA-4 manned transport spacecraft being the fourth modified spacecraft developed and manufactured at S.P. Korolev RSC Energia was launched.
The launch of Souyz-FG integrated launch vehicle with the manned spacecraft was accomplished at 7:19 Moscow time.
The purpose of the launch is to bring up the ISS Expedition 9 crew (ISS-9) to the International Space Station; carry out a planned rotation of the ISS Expedition 8 crew (ISS-8) and Soyuz TMA-3, which has been used as a crew rescue vehicle as part of the International Space Station since 20 October 2003, perform on-orbit activities under the sixth visiting crew (VC-3) program, including space experiments and investigations under the DSM Delta Project, and maintain the station and its systems functionality.
Russian Soyuz-TMA spacecraft keep supporting the station piloted flight by delivering the ISS Expedition crews to the station and returning them to ground, that was previously foreseen for the US Space Shuttle, which flights were suspended after February 1, 2003.
The station logistics and maintenance are currently supported exclusively by the Russian means, namely Souyz TMA manned spacecraft and Progress M logistics vehicles in implementing the ISS flight program by the increment crew reduced to two crewmembers, reduced upload and download mass and content, number and scope of space experiments and investigations.
Soyuz-TMA crew consists of Gennady Padalka (spacecraft commander, ISS-9 commander, second space flight), American astronaut Mike Fincke (ISS-9 flight engineer, spacecraft flight engineer 2, first space flight) and European Space Astronaut (ESA), citizen of the Kingdom of the Netherlands Andre Kuipers (spacecraft flight engineer 1, first space flight). Andres Kuipers is to work on the station under the VC-6 program and return to the ground with the ISS-8 on Soyuz TMA-3.
The flight of Soyuz TMA-4 bears a designation of 8S in accordance with the ISS program.
The main tasks of the ISS-9 expedition are rotation of the previous increment crew, maintenance of the station flight in a manned mode within 183 days as scheduled until the next crew rotation, including support of the docking and undocking operations for Russian Soyuz TMA, Progress M transportation-maintenance vehicles in accordance with the planned program, performance of two egresses into space; implementation of the program of science and applied research and experiments, support of activities under the visiting crew programs and commercial contracts.
Soyuz TMA-4 was injected into orbit with the following parameters: inclination of 51.66?, minimum altitude of 199,5 km, maximum altitude of 251,7 km, revolution of 88.73 min.
The ISS-8 crew consisting of Russian cosmonaut Alexander Kaleri (Soyuz TMA-3 commander, ISS-8 flight engineer) and U.S. NASA astronaut Michael Foale (Soyuz TMA-3 flight engineer, ISS-8 commander) performed necessary activities to prepare the on-orbit complex for the docking.
The spacecraft docking is slated on 21 April 2004. The design time of a contact to the port of functional cargo block Zarya of the ISS is at approximately 9:03 Moscow time.
Soyuz-FG/Soyuz TMA-4 rocket and space complex was processed under control of the technical management (Yu.P. Semenov, Technical Manager/General Designer of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, Academician of RAS).
The decision about the launch was taken by the State Board based on the conclusion of the Technical management about the readiness of the space complex and ground infrastructure components to be involved in implementation of the ISS program.
The Technical management is composed of general and chief designers, managers of the developers and manufactures of the space complex elements, systems and assemblies.
The launch was watched by the director of the Federal Space Agency, A.N. Perminov, representatives of FSA, NASA, ESA and other foreign space agencies, Parliament of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, business circles of Russia, the Netherlands and France, as well as leading and foreign information agencies and TV companies.
The spacecraft flight is commanded by the Lead Operational Control Team (LOCT) at the Mission Control Center (MCC-M), Moscow area, working in close cooperation with the specialists of the U.S. Mission Control Center (Houston).
The LOCT includes the managers and leading specialists from S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, experts from other enterprises and organizations.
Soyuz TMA-4 is flying in accordance with the specified program, the spacecraft onboard systems operate nominally. The crewmembers feel well.

 

 

 

 

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