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From: Dan Dubrick
To: All
Date: 2003-05-05 00:06:00
Subject: 4\26 Russia - Press release about the Soyuz TMA-2 launch

 This Echo is READ ONLY !   NO Un-Authorized Messages Please!
 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

OFFICIAL PRESS RELEASE
about the Soyuz TMA-2
manned transport spacecraft launch to the ISS

April 26, 2003. Korolev, Moscow Region.

The Russian Soyuz TMA-2 manned transport spacecraft was launched. It
is the second spacecraft of a new modification developed on the basis
of the Soyuz TM spacecraft in accordance with the intergovernmental
agreement between Russia and the USA.

The launch of the Souyz-FG integrated launch vehicle with the Soyuz
TMA-2 manned spacecraft was accomplished at 07:53:52 Moscow summer
time. The launch is intended to deliver the seventh prime crew
(ISS-7) to the International Space Station, to carry out a planned
replacement of the Soyuz TMA-1, which has been operating within the
International Space Station since November 1, 2002 performing
functions of the crew rescue vehicle. The crash of the U.S. Columbia
Orbiter followed by the NASA Administration decision to suspend
launches of U.S. Shuttles required revision of the orbital complex
flight program by the countries involved in the ISS project. As a
result, till Shuttle flight resumption the station manned flight
implementation is placed on Russian Soyuz TMA manned spacecraft and
Progress cargo vehicles with an appropriate change of the ISS crew
number and the complement of ascent and descent cargoes.

The Soyuz TMA-2 spacecraft crew includes Russian cosmonaut Yuri
Malenchenko, (commander, instructor-test cosmonaut of Yu.A. Gagarin
RGNII TsPK, 3rd space flight) and NASA's astronaut Edward Lu (flight
engineer, 3rd space flight). Yuri Malenchenko and Edward Lu already
performed a joint space flight in September 2000 within the U.S.
Atlantis Shuttle crew (STS-106). In accordance with the ISS flight
program the spacecraft flight is designated as 6S.

The main tasks of the expedition are: replacement of the ISS sixth
prime crew, providing the station manned flight mode till arrival of
the next prime crew, including implementation of operations on
docking and undocking of Russian Soyuz TMA, Progress M, Progress M1
spacecraft of transport-engineering servicing in line with the
program of 2003, implementation of research-application studies and
experiments, as well as contact commercial activities, performance of
work under the visiting crew (VC-5) program.

The spacecraft has been injected into a near-earth orbit with an
inclination of 51.67?, minimum and maximum altitudes of 200.02 km and
250.15 km, respectively, the revolution is 88.72 min.

The Expedition crew ISS-6: U.S. astronauts Kenneth Bowersocks
(commander) and Donald Pettit (flight engineer), Russian cosmonaut
Nikolai Mikhailovich Budarin (flight engineer, test cosmonaut of S.P.
Korolev RSC Energia) implemented the Orbital Complex preparation for
docking. The spacecraft docking is slated on 28 April 2003.

The contact to the Pirs module docking compartment port of the ISS
orbital complex is at approximately 09:56.

The Soyuz-FG/Soyuz TMA-2 complex preparation was supervised by the
Technical Management ( Technical Manager - Yu.P. Semenov, academician
of RAS, General Designer of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia).

The decision on its launch was made by the State Board (co-chairmen:
N.F Moiseev, State Secretary, First Deputy Director General of
Rosaviakosmos; V.A. Grin, Deputy General Director of TsNII of
Machinebuilding) based on the conclusion of the Technical Management
on the readiness of the complex and ground infrastructure elements
involved in the ISS program implementation. The Technical Management
includes General designers and directors of prime contractors -
developers and manufacturers of the complex's main components,
systems and units. 

The launch was watched by S.M. Mironov, Chairman of the Federation
Board of the Federal Assembly of RF, delegates of the State Duma of
the Federal Assembly of RF, Yu.N. Koptev, General Director of
Rosaviakosmos, representatives of NASA and other foreign space
agencies, as well as representatives of the leading Russian and
foreign information agencies and TV companies.

The spacecraft flight is commanded by the Lead Operational Control
Team (LOCT) at the Mission Control Center (MCC-M), Moscow area,
working in close cooperation with the specialists of the U.S. Mission
Control Center (Houston). The LOCT includes the managers and leading
specialists from S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, experts from other
enterprises and organizations. The Flight Director is Pilot-Cosmonaut
V.A. Soloviev.

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SEEN-BY: 633/267 270
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