Status Report

Endeavour spacecraft launch and docking with the International Space Station (flight A4)

By SpaceRef Editor
December 2, 2000
Filed under ,

At 22:59 Moscow time the docking of the on-orbit complex
of the International Space Station (ISS) with the U.S. Endeavour reusable
transport spacecraft (Shuttle) performing flight A4 in accordance with
the ISS assembly program (in NASA classification a flight of the Shuttle-series
is designated as STS-97) was implemented.

The spacecraft was launched from the launch facility of the Kennedy
Space Center on December 1, at 06:06:01 Moscow time.

The purpose of the launch is to support further increment of the ISS
USOS and to deliver cargoes for the Russian-American crew of the first
prime expedition ISS-1 operating aboard the complex since November 2
this year.
The main task of the flight is to deliver and install a truss with two
panels of solar arrays to improve the station power supply before arrival
of the U.S. Destiny laboratory to it.

The Progress M1-4 space vehicle that berthed to the on-orbit complex
on November 18, 2000 was undocked from this complex on December 1, 2000,
at 19:22:53 Moscow time. Upon completion of the joint flight of the
Eudeavour orbiter with the station the Progress M1-4 space vehicle will
again approach the ISS on-orbit complex in the second half of December
to verify the vehicle’s automatic docking system which operation during
previous docking to ISS caused comments.

During his stay aboard the complex the ISS-1 expedition crew – Russian
cosmonauts Yu. Gidzenko, S. Krikalev and U.S. astronaut W. Shepherd
– has performed a great scope of work on equipping the Zvezda service
module systems and assurance of its functioning in permanent manned
mode: the crew activated the Electron oxygen generation system, Vozdukh
environment purification system, the air conditioning system and other
systems, the efficiency of operation of solar arrays and power supply
systems of Russian modules was verified, operation of the veloergometer
and treadmill was assured, the ISS computer network preparation was
implemented, the Progress M1-4 cargo vehicle was unloaded and its loading
with expired equipment and materials was begun with the use of the inventory
system, prior to the Endeavour launch the systems of assuring docking
with it were tested, the TV camera of the cargo vehicle used to control
its approach to the station in TORU was checked. The crew performed
several TV reportings for some Russian and foreign information agencies
and TV companies.

The Endeavour orbiter docking was performed to the U.S. Unity module
docking assembly located on the module’s side adapter.

The ISS on-orbit complex of about 187 t mass is functioning in the following
configuration: Soyuz TM-31 manned spacecraft – Russian Zvezda service
module – Zarya functional-cargo module (FGB) – U.S. Unity module – Endeavour
Shuttle. Onboard systems of the complex are functioning nominally.

Operations on the Endeavour orbiter docking, Progress M1-4 undocking
and autonomous flight are controlled by the Main Operative Management
Group (MOMG) from the Moscow Mission Control Center (MCC-M) Korolev,
Moscow area, MOMG also controls the Progress M1-4 cargo vehicle autonomous
flight. Flight-cosmonaut V.A. Solovyev is the flight manager. The flight
control is performed by MOMG in cooperation with the U.S. Mission Control
Center in Houston (MCC-H).

By the data of the Main Operative Management Group specialists of MCC-M
the ISS complex flight orbit has the following parameters: inclination
of 51.6°, maximum and minimum flight altitude of 392.1 and 377.1 km,
respectively. The period of orbiting the Earth is 92.0 min. At the moment
of the Shuttle docking with the ISS complex the Progress M1-4 vehicle
was at the distance of 280 km from the complex being in orbit with parameters:
inclination of 51.6°, maximum and minimum flight altitude of 389.0 and
376.0 km, period of orbiting the Earth of 91.9 min.

SpaceRef staff editor.