Status Report

ISSCOM.003 16 November 2000

By SpaceRef Editor
November 16, 2000
Filed under ,

Progress-M1-4 launched:

The freighter Pr-M1-4 was launched from Baykonur on 16.11.00 at 01.32.36UTC for 2 —days lasting flight to the ISS.

As always with flights of such ships this one also produced the well-known sounds when being within range.


During the pass in orbit 3 the transmitters could be heard between 0608 and 0610UTC.

060801 Telemetry on 166.133mc.

060835 Telemetry and beacon signal on 922.745 mc.

061010 LOS (Loss of signal)

During the pass in orbit 4 the same transmitters were active between 07.36.40 and 07.43.30 UTC.

07.36.40 UTC TLM 166.140 mc

      1. TLM etc. on 922.787 mc

      1. Exactly on 922.755 mc, so TCA, Time Closest Approach.

      1. LOS

Pr-M1-4 has to link up with ISS on 18.11.00 at 03.06.47UTC. This is approx. 7 minutes after ISS and Pr-M1-4 disppeared over my easterly horizon.

The radio communications during the final stage of the approach can be heard here during the pass in ISS orbit 11405 between 0252 and 0258UTC.

Communications ISS: For voice communications from the ISS some frequencies are in use which are equal to those on board MIR. This means that, just like with MIR, radio communications between the crew of the 1st ISS mission and TsUP Moscow can be monitored during passes in which ISS is in my range as well of that of Shcholkovo and/or Sankt Peterburg.

Voice communications are mainly in Russian and maintained by pilot Gidzenko and board engineer Krikalyov . Now and then commander Shepherd takes the microphone to contact his flight controllers in Moscow or Houston.

A lot of that what was normal with MIR is equal to that in the ISS. Recently the Packet Radio rattles started again and also mostly via VHF-1 143.625 mc. Voice communications in such periods can be heard on VHF-2 130.165 mc. On 14.11.00 this was the other way round: P/R on 130.165 mc and voice on 143.625 mc. Obviously not a success, for the P/R signals from the VHF-2 transmitters caused interference on 143.625 mc.

It is no longer useful to make extensive reports or summaries of all what can be derived by monitoring radio communications. This would be twofold for nowadays there is a lot of information of all what happens on board of the ISS. In fact it would be triple for NASA TV continuously broadcasts voice communications, with translations in English, via her satellite as well as via some websites.

Some remarks about ISS radio communications monitored by me: there is almost no difference between that what came from MIR. For a number of forms the same numbers are in use, for instance the form 14 with the ‘ugli posadki’ (*) and form 24 with working time-tables. A lot of systems on board ISS have the same abbreviations as their analogues on board MIR, which is quite normal for the Service Module, Zvezda, is in fact MIR-2.

The oncoming approach and docking of the Pr-M1-4 will differ with such operations thusfar: the freighter will have to dock at the so called Nadir docking port of Zvezda, so the ‘lowest’ one of the 4 radial docking ports. But as always the operation will be executed with the help of the automatic system Kurs. If Kurs fails Gidzenko will be ready to take over guidance with the remote control system TORU. For those listeners who have more receivers it is worthwhile to monitor the 121.750 mc for this frequency might also be active during TORU operations.

(*) Ugli posadki are times in 6 figure groups (hrs, mins and secs) at which the ‘life-boat’ Soyuz-TM in cases of emergency has to attack the upper layers of the atmosphere under a determined angle to secure a safe reentry and landing on an appropriate location on earth. Every group is related to a certain orbit and these times are given for periods of 24 hours. Especially after orbit corrections these groups are collated by the crews. In the past, when Russian space stations still belonged to the ‘Empire of Evil’, these transmissions often were taken for encoded military messages.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165

SpaceRef staff editor.