International Space Station flight controllers continued preparations this week for the arrival of the Zvezda living quarters module, expected to launch in the next few weeks.
Controllers sent commands to the Station Tuesday night to begin transferring onboard propellant to the appropriate fuel tanks for the upcoming rendezvous and docking with Zvezda. The procedure will have moved about 1,650 pounds of propellant between tanks on the Station when completed on Friday. Early next week, tests of the automatic docking system aboard the Station will be conducted and the Station will be commanded through a type of rendezvous and docking rehearsal.
Zvezda remains tentatively planned for a launch sometime between July 10-12 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan. On Monday, United States and Russian station managers will convene in Moscow for a General Designer's Review, a thorough review of the Zvezda module's readiness for flight, following which a launch date is expected to be announced. The Station continues to operate well and flight controllers have noted no problems with any systems onboard. 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 Earth every 92 minutes.
NOTE: The next Mission Control Center ISS Status Report regarding on-orbit activities will be issued June 29. For further information, please contact the NASA Public Affairs Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, 281-483-5111.
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