Status Report

“Tommy Gram #14” from Tommy Holloway regarding the recent Russian General Designer’s Review

By SpaceRef Editor
October 11, 2000
Filed under


Sent: Wednesday, October 11, 2000 12:39 PM


Subject: Tommy Gram #14

I recently returned from participating in the Russian General Designer’s
Review (GDR), an internal readiness review lead by Russia’s prime
contractor, Space Rocket Corporation-Energia concerning the launch of
Soyuz 206, ISS flight 2R, which will carry the first Expedition crew to
the International Space Station (ISS). The launch date was set for
October 30, 2000. Despite the ongoing budgetary woes of our Russian
partners, which by the way are very real, hardware continues to be
delivered, even without payment. This situation is affecting some
elements further down the sequence, for example the Docking Compartment
(DC1) is reported to be 3-6 months late as is funding from the Russian
Aviation and Space Agency.

In this timeframe a collegium on the Mir Space Station had taken place.
Mr. Semenov, President of Energia, declared “Mir has run its course” and
now was back in the hands of the Russian government. Plans for deorbiting
Mir were discussed as to whether a crew was necessary, or if they would
wait till the Spring when the Progress M-1 series vehicle would be on
line. From what I personally observed at Mission Control Moscow (TsUP)
and at the Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, the teams seemed to be
visibly shifting to focus on the ISS.

I had the opportunity to meet with Mr. Valeri Ryumin, Director of the ISS
for Energia, and we discussed several issues of import to both of us. I
agree to release funding under the Contract for agreed to milestones, and
he promised that the Russian Segment Trainer software experts would be
sent to Houston to complete critical and timely work. Both sides’ teams
are working to understand the electrical power situation on the Service
Module, with two batteries down, and the overall Russian manifest plan
where they propose not flying the third Progress flight.

Building this International Space Station is a huge challenge. Our trek
will be arduous but I am convinced we have the dedication and commitment
from all our partners to reach our goals. The Russian Soyuz flight to
ISS will mark a moment when we change the course of human space flight by
making the International Space Station a home for cosmonauts and
astronauts. We stand poised to do much more than that on our climb to the

SpaceRef staff editor.