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

April 21, 2004. Korolev, Moscow Region.

The Russian Soyuz TMA-4 manned transport spacecraft docked to the International Space Station (ISS) Orbital Complex.
At 09:01 Moscow time the spacecraft came into contact with the port of the ISS Functional Cargo Block Zarya, when the spacecraft and Space Station were within the Russian ground site coverage.
Following a two-day free flight in near-earth orbit and upon completion of all the required rendezvous and berthing operations in an automated mode with respect to the Space Station, Soyuz TMA-4 spacecraft approached the ISS Orbital Complex.
Upon completion of the mechanical capture, retraction and interface leak check operations, at 10:25 Moscow time the transfer hatches between the spacecraft and Zarya Module were open. The spacecraft crew consisting of Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka, U.S. astronaut Michael Fincke, and European Space Agency Astronaut (ESA), citizen of the Netherlands Andre Kuipers transferred to the Russian Segment of the Station.
The spacecraft fly-around, rendezvous and berthing operations were observed by the Expedition Eight Crew (ISS-8) and Russian and U.S. Mission Control Centers personnel, by using the trajectory measurements, telemetry and television information from the onboard TV cameras accommodated on the ISS Russian and U.S. On-orbit Segments.
The joint International crew consisting of Russian cosmonauts Alexander Kaleri, (ISS-8 flight engineer), Gennady Padalka (ISS-9 commander), U.S. astronauts Michael Foale (ISS-8 commander), Michael Fincke (ISS-9 flight engineer) and ESA astronaut Andre Kuipers (VC-6 flight engineer) stay aboard the Orbital Complex. They will have to perform a nearly 8-day joint activity onboard the ISS. During this time the cosmonauts and astronauts will perform planned scientific and technological investigations and experiments including the DSM Delta program (ESA).
At present the ISS Orbital Complex of about 188.1 tons is operating in orbit in the following configuration: Functional Cargo Block Zarya, Service Module Zvezda, Docking Module/Compartment Pirs, manned spacecraft Soyuz TMA-3, Soyuz TMA-4, cargo vehicle Progress M1-11 (Russian Segment), as well as modules Unity, Destiny and airlock Quest and multi-link truss structure with the deployed solar arrays (U.S. On-Orbit Segment).
The ISS Russian Segment flight is commanded by the Moscow Mission Control Center (Korolev, Moscow area) in close cooperation with the American Mission Control Center (Houston, the USA). The Flight Director is Pilot-Cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev.
The ISS Complex is flying in a near-earth orbit with the following parameters: maximum altitude of 387.0 km, minimum altitude of 356.6 km, orbital period of 91.7 min.
The onboard systems of the transport spacecraft and station modules operate normally. The ISS joint crew is performing on-orbit flight program activities.
During the Soyuz TMA-4 spacecraft rendezvous and docking maneuvers with the ISS MCC-M was attended by members of the State Board (Co-chairmen: N.F. Moiseev, First Deputy Director of Federal Space Agency, V.A. Grin, First Deputy General Director of TsNIIMash), Technical management of manned space programs (Yu. P. Semenov, Technical Director of Russian Manned Space Programs, General Designer of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences), as well as representatives of the Russian enterprises and organizations participating in the implementation of the ISS program.
The rendezvous and docking operations were watched by the representatives of the Federal Space Agency (FSA), NASA, ESA, CNES, business circles of the Netherlands and France, leading Russian and foreign information agencies and TV companies, as well as relatives and friends of the cosmonauts and astronauts.
After the docking a press conference for Russian and foreign mass media representatives was held at MCC-M. The press conference was attended by N.F. Moiseev and V.A. Grin, co-chairmen of the State Board, Yu.P. Semenov, Technical Director of Russian Manned Space Programs, General Designer of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, N.A. Anfimov, General Director of TsNII of Machine-Building, Academician of RAS, V.V.Tsibliev, Director of Yu.A. Gagarin CTC RGNII, Frederick D. Gregory, NASA Deputy Administrator, Michael C. Kostelnik, NASA Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Space flights, Jorg Feustel-Buechl, Director of Manned Spaceflight and Microgravity, Yannick d'Escatha, CNES President, Hans de Groene and Joris van Enst, representatives of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Education of the Netherlands.
During the first TV contact with the ISS established after the meeting of the Soyuz TMA-4 and ISS -9 crews, Yu.P. Semenov, General Designer of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, Jorg Feustel-Buechl, Director of Manned SpaceFlight and Microgravity, Frederick D. Gregory, NASA Deputy Administrator, Hans de Groene and Joris van Enst, representatives of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Education of the Netherlands congratulated Gennady Padalka, Mike Fincke, Andre Kuipers on the arrival to the station and wished successful flight program activities to the joint international crew.
The ISS-8 crew is scheduled to return to the ground with Soyuz TMA-3 on 30 April 2004 and land approximately at 04:07 Moscow time.

Key data on the experiment program to be performed by Expedition Crew ISS-9 and visiting crew VC-6 is presented in Internet at RSC Energia site at addresses:
www.energia.ru/eng/iss09/res.html,
www.energia.ru/eng/iss/researches/delta.html.

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