Status Report

Docking of Progress-M-43 logistics vehicle with the Mir station

By SpaceRef Editor
October 21, 2000
Filed under

Progress-M-43 Logistic vehicle, launched on October 17,
2000, from Baikonur launch site, after completing autonomous 4-days
flight on the close to earth orbit to the Mir station docked to it at
1 h 16 min. Moscow time.

The orbital station Kvant module port was touched when
the vehicle and station were in the coverage area of Russian ground
measurement stations.

The logistics vehicle delivered about 1170 tons of propellants
to the Mir station including 870 kg to refuel combined propulsion unit
and also other cargoes required to support further flight of the station.
During flight of Progress M-43 logistics vehicle there was more effective
procedure of vehicles approach to the station tested which allows to
diminish propellant consumption for flight to the station and thus increase
total weight of cargo and propellant to be delivered which is important
to implement next flights in the scope of ISS program.

The Mir space station of about 137 tons in weight is
turning around the Earth on the orbit with maximum altitude of 349,4
km, minimum one of 325,4 km, inclination of 51,67°. One orbit period
is 91,1 min..

According to information from prime real-time control
group which works in the Mission Control Center in Korolev and implements
control over the Mir station flight, the station and modules onboard
systems operate with no comments.

At docking of Progress M-43 vehicle with the Mir station
Mr. Yu.P. Semenov, RSC Energia Designer General , Academician of Russian
Academy of Science, General-Lieutenant V.A. Grin, Chairman of Intergovernmental
Board, specialists of the Corporation, machine-building TsNII, companies
designers of the onboard systems of the vehicle and other organizations.

After the docking completed a briefing for journalists
took place in MCC-M.

Responding to their questions, Mr. Yu.P. Semenov, Designer
General, Academician of RAS, said that currently issues related to the
Mir station destiny, government payment for works performed by RSC Energia
and subcontructors in 1997-98 regarding the Mir station and also financing
of the final phase of the station flight and works on ISS are controlled
by President of Russian Federation. Foreign investors in difference
of Rusian businessmen provided real support to the Russian station in
1999-2000, though at the moment their proposals do not cover financial
requirements at the needed scale for manufacturing of cargo and manned
Progress vehicles and Soyuz TM in order to continue the Mir station
program. So, at present future of this unique engineering space facility
of century XX which was the first international space laboratory at
the low earth orbit and operated there almost 15 years depends on decision
of the Russian Government.

SpaceRef staff editor.