2000 Report # 37

4 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, August 8, 2000

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

The International Space Station (ISS) grew in size and capability once again today with the picture-perfect docking of its first Progress supply craft at 3:13 p.m. Central Time.

The Russian Progress M1 was launched Sunday afternoon and spent the last two days executing rendezvous burns that eventually placed it in close proximity to the station.

Over Russian communications stations, Progress used its automated KURS docking system to hone in on the aft docking port of the newly arrived Zvezda Service Module, enabling the linkup to occur on time as the two craft flew over Kazakhstan. At the time of docking, Progress approached Zvezda at a rate of about two-tenths of a meter per second. Shortly after contact between the two vehicles, hooks and latches began to engage, forming a tight seal between the two craft. The supply ship is carrying 1,356 pounds of supplies, including clothing, food, computers and other equipment that will be unloaded by seven astronauts and cosmonauts who will arrive at the ISS in September on the STS-106 mission aboard the Shuttle Atlantis. The Progress also carried a load of fuel which will be automatically transferred through propellent lines to refill the tanks on both the Zvezda and Zarya modules.

Atlantis is scheduled to be moved to its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center late Sunday night in anticipation of a planned Sept. 8 launch. Once they arrive at the ISS, Atlantis’ crew members will begin the task of unpacking the Progress and a Spacehab module in the Shuttle’s cargo bay to set up shop for the arrival of the first permanent residents of the ISS in early November.

With the arrival of the Progress, the Station continues to rapidly expand, now measuring 143 feet in length and weighing 67 tons. The ISS can be viewed from the ground under proper lighting conditions. To see when the ISS is visible, check the human space flight website.

For updates on all aspects of human space flight, visit: spaceflight.nasa.gov

The next Mission Control Center status report will be issued on Wednesday, August 16.

Mission Control Center, Korolev, Russia

8 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 25, 2000

2000 Report # 34

The newest component for the ever-growing International Space Station, the Russian Zvezda Service Module, successfully linked up with the fledgling complex this evening as the two craft flew high over the northeast portion of Kazakhstan marking the arrival of the first living quarters for the permanent human habitation of the new outpost.

With the ISS’ Zarya Control Module operating as the active vehicle, the two craft gently docked at 7:45 p.m. Central time (4:45 a.m. Moscow time on July 26), two weeks after Zvezda rocketed into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Zarya’s jets controlled the final minutes of the approach for docking, as the ISS closed on Zvezda at a glacial rate of two-tenths of a meter per second.

Within minutes, hooks and latches on both sides of the docking interface between Zvezda and Zarya began to engage one another to form a tight seal between the two vehicles. The ISS had become a far larger complex at the moment of docking, now spanning 119 feet in length, or the size of an 11-story building. The ISS now weighs almost 60 tons.

Immediately after docking, the solar arrays on Zvezda, which had been locked 'edge on' to prevent any impingement from Zarya’s jet thrusters, began articulating again to follow the sun and Zarya’s Motion Control System was deactivated. Upon command from Russian flight controllers, a valve in Zvezda will be opened to pressurize the vestibule, or passageway, between the two modules. On Sunday, U.S. time, flight controllers in Korolev will begin the critical transfer of commanding and attitude control of the ISS from Zarya’s computers to those on Zvezda, part of the command and telemetry system in the Service Module supplied by the European Space Agency.

With tonight’s successful docking, technicians at Baikonur were scheduled to begin fueling the first Progress resupply vehicle for the ISS, which is scheduled for launch on a Soyuz rocket on August 6. That Progress, carrying supplies for the first Expedition crew, is earmarked for docking to the ISS on August 8.

The next Mission Control Center status report will be issued on Monday, July 31

NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC
Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

July 25, 2000


The first opportunity for the Russian Zvezda service module to dock automatically with the International Space Station will be tonight at approximately 8:44 p.m. EDT, a few minutes earlier than the originally scheduled docking time of 8:53 p.m. EDT.

Coverage of the first opportunity to mate Zvezda with the space station will begin at approximately 8:00 p.m. EDT on NASA Television. The docking of Zvezda, which will serve as the living quarters for the first crew, is the long-awaited first step toward permanent living and working in space, and opens the pathway to new discoveries. The first international crew to live aboard the station, lead by American Commander Bill Shepherd, will be ready to launch from Kazakhstan later this Fall.

Following a successful docking, NASA Television will carry a press conference at approximately 9:15 p.m. EDT. The news conference will be broadcast live on NASA TV, with questions from reporters at the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, Russia.

NASA TV can be found on GE-2, transponder 9C, 85 degrees West longitude, vertical polarization, with a frequency of 3880 MHz, and audio at 6.8 MHz.

NASA Science News for July 24, 2000

Thanks to a new NASA web site, stargazers can track the progress of the growing International Space Station (ISS) from their own backyards. Because it reflects sunlight down to Earth, the ISS often looks like a slow-moving star as it crosses the sky. It can even appear as bright as the star Sirius if you know when and where to look.

Full story

NEWSALERT: Thursday, July 13, 2000 @ 0902 GMT

The latest news from Astronomy Now and Spaceflight Now


Flight controllers report Zvezda's first hours in space have gone very smoothly. In fact, officials are considering moving up docking by three days. The only issue of note is the possibility one of two TORU docking antennas might not be locked in its deployed position.

Full story.


NASA Administrator Daniel Goldin congratulated his Russian colleagues for successfully launching Zvezda today. The module's chief designer, in turn, unabashedly asked for more tangible support from the United States -- presumably hard cash -- in the years ahead.

Full story.


2 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, July 12, 2000

Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

Destined to soon transform the International Space Station into a new home in orbit, the Russian-built Zvezda living quarters module lifted off flawlessly from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, at 11:56 p.m. CDT Tuesday.

Only 15 minutes after its launch aboard a Russian Proton booster, the new module was safely in orbit, with its antennas, solar arrays and other exterior equipment perfectly extended. The module is now operating well in an orbit with a high point of about 221 statute miles and a low point of 115 statute miles. During the next two weeks, flight controllers at the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, Russia, will continue to activate and check out the module's systems, fire its engines periodically to adjust its orbit, and prepare for a docking with the International Space Station.

On July 25, the International Space Station will begin a final rendezvous with Zvezda, culminating in a docking planned at about 7:45 p.m. CDT. The launch of Zvezda begins a rapid series of flights to the station, and a rapid expansion of the orbital outpost. A Russian Progress cargo spacecraft is next targeted for a launch to the station on Aug. 6 with a docking on Aug. 8; the Shuttle Atlantis is targeted for launch on Sept. 8 to open the doors to the new living quarters for the first time; and the Shuttle Discovery is targeted for a launch Oct. 5 on a mission that will begin the heart of station construction, carrying aloft an exterior framework and third mating adapter. The first three-person resident crew is targeted to begin a four-month stay aboard the station a month later, bringing the new outpost to life.

Those flights, among the most complex and difficult missions NASA has ever attempted, and the ones that will quickly follow in 2001 -- U.S. solar arrays, the first U.S. laboratory, a new generation of space robotics built by Canada, logistical modules built by Italy, and a station airlock from the U.S. -- will turn the station into the largest, most powerful and most sophisticated spacecraft ever built by the end of next year.

NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC
The White House

July 12, 2000


This morning's successful launch of the Zvezda service module from Baikonur, Kazakhstan marks an important milestone in the development of the International Space Station. It represents the result of intense space cooperation between the United States and Russia as part of the sixteen nation International Space Station consortium. It also represents the achievement of one of the earliest objectives of the U.S.-Russia Bi-National Commission's Space Committee. All Americans can take pride in this exciting accomplishment.

We still face the technical challenge of docking the service module with the American and Russian components currently in orbit, an event scheduled to occur within the next two weeks. If the docking is successful, the key components permitting human habitation of the station will be in place. Once the International Space Station becomes fully operational, it promises to deliver enormous benefits to Americans in the form of increased scientific research and development opportunities. It will also allow us to expand the horizons of our understanding of space.

NEWSALERT: Wednesday, July 12, 2000 @ 0854 GMT

The latest news from Astronomy Now and Spaceflight Now


Running two years behind schedule, a heavy lift Proton rocket finally boosted the Russian Zvezda command module into orbit early today, opening a floodgate of stalled U.S.-Russian assembly missions.

Full story.

See our Mission Status Center for continuous updates.


Russian flight controllers will spend two full weeks checking out and activating Zvezda's systems and maneuvering the spacecraft into the proper position for docking.

Full story.

SPACE.com Newsletter for Tuesday 11 July 2000

  • Special Report on Zvezda - LIVE Launch Coverage Begins Tonight at 12:30 a.m. EDT

    After Zvezda: NASA to Ramp Up Stalled Station Construction Project

    NEWSALERT: Tuesday, July 11, 2000 @ 0941 GMT
    The latest news from Astronomy Now and Spaceflight Now


    The stakes are literally sky high: Nothing less than the future of the international space station. That's what many believe is riding on Wednesday's 0456 GMT (12:56 a.m. EDT) launch of a long-delayed Russian command module called Zvezda.

    Full story


    Spaceflight Now will provide a running play-by-play commentary tonight during the countdown and launch of Zvezda in our Mission Status Center

    We will also offer a live QuickTime streaming video broadcast


    Through a landmark agreement announced Monday, people worldwide will be able to watch free on the Internet as 16 nations build and occupy the international space station in Earth orbit. Still and video images will be broadcast from the Russian Zvezda service module.

    NEWSALERT: Monday, July 10, 2000 @ 1153 GMT

    The latest news from Astronomy Now and Spaceflight Now


    The Russian Proton rocket, with the Zvezda service module loaded aboard, was transported via train to Baikonur Cosmodrome's launch pad 23 on Saturday in preparation for liftoff Wednesday morning.

    Full story.


    Built by RSC Energia, the Zvezda module measures 43 feet long, weighs 42,000 pounds and stretches 95.5 feet across its two solar arrays. It includes three pressurized compartments and 14 windows.

    Full story

    Zvezda pre-launch special report

    U N I V E R S E 
      T O D A Y 

    Space Exploration News From Around the Internet, Updated Every Weekday.
    July 10, 2000 - Issue #269


    The Russian-built Zvezda service module for the International Space Station is still on track for a Wednesday launch at 0456 GMT on board a Russian Proton rocket from the Baikonur cosmodrome. After launch, the module will fly under its own power for two weeks until it catches up with the station, and then perform an autodock to link up with the Zarya module. Once docked, Zvezda will provide habitability for future astronauts and thrust to maintain the station's altitude.

    Original Source:

    Internet Coverage:
    Houston Chronicle
    Florida Today Space Online

    SPACE.com Newsletter for Monday 10 July 2000

    Engineers Prep Zvezda for Wednesday Launch

    NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC
    Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

    July 7, 2000


    Live NASA Television coverage of the launch of the Russian Zvezda Service Module mission to the International Space Station will begin at 12:30 a.m. EDT Wednesday, July 12. NASA TV can be found on GE-2, Transponder 9C, 85 degrees West longitude, vertical polarization with a frequency of 3880 MHz and audio at 6.8 MHz.

    Report # 25

    3 p.m. CDT, Thursday, June 29, 2000

    Mission Control Center, Houston, Texas

    After a week of comprehensive reviews by program managers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, the next component of the International Space Station (ISS) is poised for launch to provide the early living quarters for the first permanent occupants of the orbital outpost.

    The Russian Zvezda Service Module was cleared for launch on July 12 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in a General Designer’s Review at RSC-Energia in Korolev, Russia on Monday, attended by NASA and Russian space managers and representatives of the European Space Agency, which provided the data management system for the new module.

    An operations readiness review was completed today at the Johnson Space Center in Houston with Russian space officials participating by videoconference, certifying the readiness of the module and U.S. and Russian flight control teams for the launch, currently scheduled at around 12:56 a.m. Eastern time on July 12 (4:56 GMT on July 12, 11:56 p.m. Central time on July 11) atop a modified Russian Proton rocket. A firm launch time will be set next week by Russian flight controllers following a final review of Service Module systems in Baikonur.

    The July 12 launch is contingent on the successful launch July 5 of a second modified Proton from Baikonur, to place a Russian military communications satellite into orbit. Within a few hours of that launch, Zvezda will be fueled in a special facility at Baikonur and transported by railcar to the hangar housing its Proton rocket. Zvezda is scheduled to be mated to the Proton on July 6 and will be transported to Launch Pad 23 July 7 for final preparations.

    U.S. and Russian flight controllers, meanwhile, continue to refine procedures and plans for the verification of the health of Zvezda’s systems on orbit during the two-week free flight checkout planned for the module prior to the linkup of the ISS with Zvezda. The automatic rendezvous system on the ISS’ Zarya module and a nearly identical system on Zvezda will be tested to insure that they will be able to provide navigational data to one another on the distance between the two space craft and the rate of closure during the final phase of rendezvous and docking. Other key systems, including Zvezda’s motion control system, its solar arrays and its various telemetry hardware will be checked out prior to docking as well.

    Within 72 hours after Zvezda is joined to the ISS, flight controllers will reconfigure the data processing path between the Service Module, Zarya and the Unity module, as Zvezda assumes control for the orientation of the Station, any reboost which may be required and primary communication responsibility.

    Otherwise, the Station continues to operate well and flight controllers are not working any significant technical issues. The International Space Station is in an orbit with a high point of 245 statute miles and a low point of 230 statute miles (394 x 371 kilometers), circling the Earth every 92 minutes.

    U N I V E R S E
      T O D A Y

    Space Exploration News From Around the Internet, Updated Every Weekday. June 26, 2000 - Issue #263


    The long-awaited Zvezda command module for the International Space Station is just about ready for launch. Russian space managers tentatively announced that the module will launch on board a Proton rocket on July 12. If successful, the launch will put development of the spacestation two years behind schedule.

    News Stories

    Houston Chronicle

    NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC
    Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

    June 26, 2000


    Following a General Designer's Review meeting in Moscow today, NASA and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency announced that plans remain on track for the launch of the Zvezda service module on July 12 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The addition of this module sets the stage for the launch of other ISS components undergoing final testing at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    The Zvezda launch will follow the launch of a second modified Russian Proton rocket on July 5 carrying a Russian military communications satellite to orbit.

    A definitive liftoff time will be known closer to the launch date following detailed trajectory analysis by Russian experts. This analysis will be based on optimum lighting conditions for docking to the ISS while the two spacecraft are over Russian ground communications stations.

    Following joint meetings in Moscow, including a General Designer's Review and a Joint Program Review, it was agreed that Zvezda (Russian word for Star) - the early living quarters for crews aboard the station - is ready to begin final preparations for launch on a Proton rocket fitted with modified second and third-stage engines, which have been in redesign and testing for the last five years.

    The 42,000-pound Zvezda is 43 feet long (13 meters) and has a solar array wingspan of 97.5 feet (30 meters). It provides the early living quarters for astronauts and cosmonauts and contains the life support system; electrical power distribution; data processing system; flight control system; and propulsion. The module contains three pressurized compartments and four docking ports. While many of these systems will be supplemented or replaced by later U.S. station components, Zvezda always will remain the structural and functional center of the Russian segment of the International Space Station.

    Following Zvezda's launch and 14 days of free flight, the ISS will rendezvous and dock with its newest module using an automatic docking system, propellant and thrusters in the Zarya control module.

    The next several components of the ISS are on track to meet their launch dates and include a small truss segment that will serve as the support structure for other station hardware; the first set of solar arrays; the United States Destiny laboratory; the Canadian built space station robot arm and several truss segments that will serve as the station's backbone for external hardware, experiments and solar arrays.

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