RSC Energia Statement About the docking of the Progress M-44 logistics vehicle with the International Space Station

Status Report From: RSC Energia
Posted: Wednesday, February 28, 2001

February 28, 2001. Korolev, Moscow Region

Having completed a 2-day free flight in near-earth orbit and rendezvous maneuvers, the Progress M-44 logistics vehicle was successfully docked with the International Space Station (ISS) Orbital Complex.

The logistics vehicle was reported to be launched into orbit on February 26, 2001 in accordance with the Russia - undertaken commitments under the ISS Assembly Program.

At 12 hours 49 minutes 47 seconds Moscow Time contact of an axial docking port of the Russian Service Module Zvezda cleared by the Soyuz TM-31 manned vehicle (which has been staying on nadir port of the Functional Cargo Block (FGB) Zarya since February 24, 2001) took place, while the Orbital Complex was flying within ground coverage of the Russian ground measurement stations.

The Progress M-44 logistics vehicle rendezvous with the Orbital Complex was carried out in an automatic mode.

The logistics vehicle has delivered the cargo of more than 2.5 tons, including about 730 kg of the propellant for refueling the Zvezda Module United Propulsion System.

After unloading the Progress M-44 logistics vehicle and accommodating the cargoes onboard the station the ISS crew will get down to the disassembly of the logistics vehicle-housed rendezvous system apparatus with the aim to further return it to Earth for reuse, as well as ensure loading of the used materials and hardware into the vehicle.

The logistics vehicle rendezvous, berthing and docking were implemented under control of the Lead Operational Control Team (LOCT) at the Mission Control Center (MCC-M), Korolev, Moscow Region, as well as the ISS Prime Crew.
During the Progress M-44/ISS Orbital Complex docking the following persons were present at MCC-M: Yu.P. Semenov, Technical Manager of the Russian Manned Space Programs, General Designer of RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev, the academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Yu.N. Koptev, General Director of Rosaviakosmos; N.A. Anfimov, Director of Central Research Institute for Machine building; state Duma deputies; RSC Energia experts; NASA, ESA industry subcontractor representatives.

The ISS Orbital Complex of about 112 tons by mass is currently operating with the following modules included: FGB Zarya - the US Unity Module - the Russian Service Module Zvezda - the Soyuz TM-31 manned vehicle - the US Laboratory Module Destiny - the Progress M-44 logistics vehicle. The Complex onboard systems are operating in a design mode.

The Complex flight is commanded from MCC-M (Korolev, Moscow region) in cooperation with the American Mission Control Center (MCC-H) based in Houston, USA.
As the LOCT experts report, the Orbital Complex is flying around near-earth orbit having the following parameters: maximum altitude of 400.9 km; minimum altitude of 374.1 km; orbital period is 92.0 min.

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