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ISS Docking

FYI de  Roy

Space station, crew quarters scheduled for linkup tonight 
Orbiting service module checks out, Russians say 
Copyright 2000 Houston Chronicle 

Two weeks after its launching, the Russian-built module designed to house 
future residents of the U.S.-led international space station is ready to link 
up with the other components of the slowly developing orbital outpost. 

The automated linkup is scheduled for today just before 8 p.m. CDT, while the 
unpiloted crew module and two components launched and joined together in late 
1998 sail more than 220 miles above Russia. 

Since its liftoff from Central Asia on July 11, the 43-foot-long crew module 
has circled the Earth solo more than 200 times, allowing experts in Russia's 
mission control to carefully assess its guidance, propulsion, computer and 
power systems before they attempt the docking. 

"The module is in excellent shape," NASA spokesman Kyle Herring said Monday 
from the control facility in suburban Moscow. Christened "Zvezda," Russian 
for "star" before its liftoff, the spacecraft is also known as the service 
module, its technical name. 

With three modules joined together, the outpost will grow to nearly 120 feet 
in length and gain sleeping and working quarters, a galley, toilet and 
working space for three resident astronauts and cosmonauts. In addition to 
its life-support systems, the new module brings more capable guidance, 
propulsion and computer systems. 

Russian economic problems, along with recently overcome technical 
difficulties with the Proton rocket that launched the crew module, delayed 
the liftoff by 27 months. As a result, major assembly of the station ground 
to a halt after the first two large modules were joined in Earth orbit by a 
U.S. and Russian space shuttle crew in December 1998. 

If tonight's operation is successful, the station will be ready to accept its 
first resident crew -- U.S. commander Bill Shepherd and cosmonauts Sergei 
Krikalev and Yuri Gidzenko -- this year. 

Additionally, a successful linkup will permit the go-ahead of 15 construction 
and supply missions in the next 12 months, adding a U.S. science laboratory, 
solar power generators and airlock to facilitate several spacewalks that will 
be necessary to build and maintain the outpost. 

The shuttle Atlantis is being readied for an early September mission that 
will equip the station for arrival of Shepherd's crew in November. 

If the linkup attempt is unsuccessful, the two older modules are equipped 
with sufficient fuel to make at least one more automated docking attempt. 
Should there be a second failure, though, the Russians are prepared to launch 
a Soyuz capsule with two cosmonauts to the crew module. 

Aboard Zvezda, the two cosmonauts would be prepared to activate a second 
guidance system that gives them a video link to steer the modules together 

The launch of the Soyuz rescue crew would probably occur around Aug. 10. 

Successive failures would force the station's 16-nation partnership, 
especially the United States and Russia, to seriously re-evaluate the 
project's future. 

NASA estimates it would take the Russians two to three years to fabricate 
another crew module if they chose to remain a member of the alliance. The 
United States could forge ahead with some assembly, but has no plans to 
launch a crew habitat until 2005. 

The partnership envisions that when the station is fully assembled, it will 
be the size of two football fields placed side-by-side and house a crew of 

Visiting astronauts and cosmonauts will use at least three laboratories for 
physics, medical and biological experiments, as well as test hardware for 
exploration of the moon and Mars. 

July 25, 2000 
Zvezda to connect to station tonight
By Steven Siceloff
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - After two years of delays, Russia's Zvezda Service 
Module finally is ready to take its place at the International Space Station 
Zvezda is to become the third piece of the station, about 230 miles above 
Earth, if it docks without problems about 8:45 p.m. EDT. 

To prove it is up to the docking task, the module has passed two weeks of 
tests since its July 12 launch from the Baikonur launch site 1,300 miles 
southeast of Moscow. 

The two station pieces Zvezda is to join have been orbiting since 1998. They 
are the Russian-made Zarya and the U.S.-made Unity. 

Zarya now carries the station's power and steering systems, but Zvezda will 
take over those duties after the docking. Zarya then will become a 

Unity is an 18-foot-long docking hub with portals for future station pieces 
and a parking place for shuttles. 

In addition to supplying power and steering, Zvezda has life-support systems 
for the station's first crew, which is expected to arrive in the fall. 

While Zvezda has been bedeviled by delays caused by Russia's battered 
economy, NASA has watched as about 10 of its own station components pile up 
at Kennedy Space Center, waiting their turn for a journey into space. 

But once Zvezda makes its connection, the American shuttle fleet is to carry 
those pieces into orbit, methodically attaching them to the station during 
the next several years. 

"I think there is a sense of eagerness now that we've gotten this far," KSC 
spokesman Bruce Buckingham said Monday. "Now it's up to the shuttle to 
deliver the next pieces of the station." 

How docking will take place
>From NASA International Space Station press kit
Once on orbit, Zvezda becomes the passive vehicle for a rendezvous with the 
already-orbiting International Space Station comprised of the Zarya control 
module and the Unity module. As the passive "target" vehicle, Zvezda will 
maintain a station-keeping orbit as Zarya performs the rendezvous and docking 
under ground control using the Russian automated rendezvous and docking 
system (Kurs). 
Following the docking, Zvezda assumes responsibility for attitude control and 
reboost. Many of the systems aboard Zarya are deactivated and the station’s 
first ISS component then serves primarily as a propellant storage facility 
and provider of pressurized volume for stowage. 

Approximately three weeks after ISS docking to Zvezda, the first Progress 
resupply vehicle will dock automatically to the rear of the service module, 
which contains a probe and drogue docking assembly. Progress then will assume 
temporary responsibility for reboost and propulsive maneuvers of the ISS. The 
Progress will transfer excess propellant to Zarya’s propellant tanks by lines 
routed through Zvezda. 

In the event the ISS cannot dock automatically with Zvezda, a two-man Russian 
cosmonaut crew would be launched on a Soyuz rocket from the Baikonur 
Cosmodrome about 15 days later on a mission to accomplish the docking 

The cosmonaut crew would dock its Soyuz capsule to the rear of Zvezda two 
days after launch, board the new module, and assemble a teleoperated 
rendezvous control system (TORU) in Zvezda. Two days later, they would use 
the TORU system to guide the ISS toward Zvezda for a linkup. 

The flight plan calls for the cosmonauts to activate a number of service 
module systems before departing, in preparation for the arrival of a Progress 
resupply craft and the shuttle Atlantis to outfit Zvezda during the STS-106 
mission in September. 

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