Status Report


By SpaceRef Editor
November 29, 2001
Filed under , ,

To make room for the freighter Progress-M1-7 the Progress-M45 undocked from ISS on 22.11.01 at 1612UTC for decay over a designated area in the Pacific on 22.11.01 at

Progress-M1-7: This freighter was launched from Baykonur with a Soyuz-FG rocket on 26.11.01 at 18.24.12UTC.

Communications: As far as I could ascertain this time, and contrary to Progress missions in the past, the beacon and telemetry transmitters were commanded on after TCA (Time
Closest Approach) for my position in the Netherlands, so after the Pr-M1-7 came in range of the first Russian tracking facilities. When the transmitter on 922.755 mc was commanded
ON the frequency was for me 922.747 mc, so determination of the TCA was not possible.

During the first pass after launch this transmitter and also the telemetry signals on 166.130 mc were very weak. I monitored these signals between 225929 and 230200UTC.

During the 2nd day the transmitters of Pr-M1-7 also had been commanded ON after TCA. Between 224534 and 224850UTC the signals were loud and clear on the 922.747 and 166.130

Pr-M1-7 (approach and docking):

During the first pass for the Netherlands of both objects in ISS orbit 17277 between 192849 and 193400UTC the telemetry of the approaching freighter could be heard on 166.139mc
beginning at 192849UTC. I did not hear the beacon signals on 922.7555 mc.

During this pass the maximum elevation of both objects for my position in the Hague was 3 degrees.

At 193132UTC the testing of the transmitters of the TORU system on 121.750 and 130.165 mc began. Ultimately the use of that remote control from inside Zvezda was not necessary
for approach and docking were executed in the automatic mode with the system Kurs.

Via 143.625 mc the voice of Dezhurov could be heard, but there were no further communications.

At 19.43.02 UTC, so 9 minutes after both objects disappeared over the Easterly horizon, the docking took place.

During the following pass in orbit 17278 there was a short radio contact via 143.625 mc. Dezhurov said that he received something from TsUP, but there was no follow up. At
210904UTC I monitored telemetry from the Zvezda via 630.125 mc. LOS at approx. 21.11.20UTC.

Then I had to wait for radio traffic during the pass in orbit 17279 to hear eventual reports about the results of the air seal checks. Regretfully there was no air seal. Possibly the clamps
to take for a tight docking or had mate were not closed properly.

So in this case ‘Chto to ne to’ as Russians use to say carefully when something might be wrong.

During the pass in orbit 17279 between 2236 and 2246UTC Dezhurov reported the control had been taken over by the DO (steering rockets) and that the complex was flying the so called
‘Indikatornyy Rezhim’ , so in Free Drift. Quite normal during such operations, but usually the normal movements control is restored not long after the docking.

The status after this last pass was as follows:

  1. No tight air seal between Pr-M1-7 and the Zvezda air lock.

  2. It was not possible to receive a sufficient amount of Telemetry for the necessary analysis to make decisions possible. This would not be possible before 1100UTC on 29.11.01
    when the complex again camej in range of the Russian tracking facilities.

  3. The problem has to be solved before TsUP-Houston can give green light for the launch of Endeavour (STS-108) planned for 30.11.01 at 0041UTC.

Latest news from duty officer TsUP Moscow at 1400UTC: The problems with the air seal of Pr-M1-7 do not prevent the launch of Endeavour.

Chris van den Berg, NL-9165/A-UK3202

SpaceRef staff editor.