Status Report

Official RSC Energia Press Release about the ISS/Space Shuttle undocking

By SpaceRef Editor
September 18, 2000
Filed under

On September 17, at 16 hours 16 minutes the five
U.S. astronauts (T. Wilcutt, commander; Scott Altman,
E. Lu, R. Mastracchio, D. Burbank) and the two
Russian cosmonauts (Yu. Malenchenko, B. Morukov) abandoned
the International Space Station (ISS) closing finally the exit
hatch from the Atlantis Space Shuttle. Before their abandonment
the operations had been completed in the ISS pressurized compartments,
then the hatches were sequentially closed in the logistics vehicle
Progress M1-3 (at 9 hours 34 minutes), Zvezda Service Module
(SM) (at 14 hours 09 minutes) in the American Unity Module pressurized
adapter (at 15 hours 57 minutes).

On September 18, at 7 hours 46 minutes in the
morning the Atlantis Space Shuttle undocked with the ISS.

After moving away from the ISS over a distance
of about 150 km, the Atlantis Space Shuttle flew around it twice
with the aim to make its visual inspection, photo- and video
recording of the station structural members and module surfaces
for further analysis of their technical condition.

The undocking was performed when the ISS flew
in sun-lit part of its orbit within radio visibility zone of
the Russian ground measuring stations.

Process of the station undocking and fly-around
by the Atlantis was commanded by the Moscow Mission Control
Center (MCC-M) – based Lead Operational Control Team (LOCT)
led by the pilot-cosmonaut V.A. Solovyov, Flight Director (RSC
Energia after S.P. Korolev).

Having completed the ISS fly-around operation,
the Atlantis Space Shuttle crew initiated the final stage under
its Mission Program. Ground landing of the Space Shuttle is
scheduled to take place on September 20, at 11 hours 50 minutes.
Free flight of the American Space Shuttle is commanded by flight
engineers from the Mission Control Center (MCC-H) based in Houston,
Texas, the USA.

Being involved in the station – related activities
from September 12 till September 17, 2000, the international
American-Russian crew has unloaded logistics vehicle Progress
M1-3 and the Atlantis Space Shuttle, performed assembly-disassembly
operations in the ISS pressurized compartments. The Zarya FGB
– based tele – operated control system and the docking mechanism
probe were dismantled. The Service Module was outfitted with
extra onboard computer, veloergometer, treadmill, the Elecktron
system, sanitatian device, power supply system assemblies and
other equipment. Also the test downlink communication sessions
with the SM-based Rassvet onboard telegraph-telephone system
involved were carried out. By the use of the Atlantis Space
Shuttle thrusters it became possible to reboost 4 times the
ISS orbit during September 11-17. As a result all the required
arrangements have been made to get the station ready for its
operation in a continuous manned flight mode. The ISS prime
crew (Russian cosmonauts Yu. Gidzenko and S. Krikalev
and U.S. astronaut W. Shepherd) is scheduled to be launched
via the Soyuz TM to it in late October, 2000.

The ISS continues its orbital manned flight.
The ISS is in an orbit with inclination of 51.6*, maximum altitude
of 396,2 km, minimum altitude of 378,1 km, the orbital period
of 92.1 minutes.

The ISS Russian Segment system operation and
flight are controlled by the Lead Operational Control Team (LOCT)
at the Mission Control Center located in Korolev, Moscow Region.

SpaceRef staff editor.