The Zvezda service module is in excellent shape a day after its launch aboard a Proton rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Zvezda was launched at 12:56 a.m. EDT Wednesday and was on its own 10 minutes later after the Proton’s third stage separated and fell away from the module.
After launch, Russian ground controllers monitored the module’s systems through four ground site passes spaced an hour and a half apart. All systems were reported to be in good shape and operating as expected.
propellant system and thruster jets were tested and verified to be in
good working shape. Two test firings of the engines took place about
45 minutes apart in preparation for major rendezvous maneuvers scheduled
tomorrow. The first was at
Other checkouts today included analyzing telemetry that verified the twin solar array drive motors were operating properly in pointing them toward the sun to gather energy for storage in the four batteries inside the module. Those batteries are reported to be working properly. Four additional batteries will be installed in the module during the next Space Shuttle visit to the International Space Station set for early September.
The solar arrays were repositioned for the two test burns to minimize any vibrations imparted during the engine firings. After the burns, the solar arrays were moved back to their normal operating positions.
Also completed was a test of the inertial navigation and star tracker navigation systems to verify the module can be reoriented for maneuvers and rendezvous burn.
During the four ground passes yesterday, telemetry showed that one of the two docking targets was not deployed. The target, however, would only be used during a manual docking, which is not planned on the service module’s mission. Russian specialists believe the target actually is deployed and that sensors are not reading correctly. This is no impact to the docking by the ISS to the service module planned for 8:46 p.m. EDT on July 25.
The first two rendezvous maneuvers currently are scheduled for Friday at 1:19 a.m. EDT (9:19 a.m. in Moscow) and 1:54 a.m. EDT (9:54 a.m. Moscow time). The burns will raise both sides of the orbit – the first by an average of 30 miles) to 222 by 127 statute miles (354 x 240 kilometers) and the second by an average of 43 miles to 232 by 160 miles (373 x 257 kilometers).
At 8 a.m. EDT today, Zvezda was on its 22nd orbit in space traveling northeasterly across the southern Pacific Ocean.
The next Mission Control Center status report will be issued Friday, July 14. For more information, call the Johnson Space Center Newsroom at 281/483-5111.
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