The Zvezda Service Module, which will provide the early living quarters on board the International Space Station, is slated for a 12:56 a.m. EDT launch on July 12 (11:56 p.m. CDT July 11; or 4:56 GMT on July 12) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Fueling of Zvezda began shortly after the successful launch of a modified Proton rocket from Baikonur on Wednesday morning and was completed early this morning. After being transported to the Proton hangar, Zvezda will be mated to the rocket that will carry it to orbit early Friday morning. Roll-out to Launch Pad 23 is slated for July 8.
U.S. and Russian flight controllers, meanwhile, continue to refine procedures and plans to verify the health of Zvezda’s systems during its two-week free flight prior to the scheduled July 25 docking of the ISS and 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.
The Station continues to operate well with no significant technical issues being worked. Battery 1 and its associated electrical component (PTAB1) have been disconnected from the remaining battery systems after indications of a slightly higher than normal discharge rate. Flight controllers believe the reading is the result of an errant sensor, but have disconnected the battery as a precaution. Battery 1 will remain offline until July 22 when it is reconnected and charged prior to the Zvezda docking. 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.
NOTE: The next Mission Control Center ISS Status Report regarding on-orbit activities will be issued July 12. For further information, please contact the NASA Public Affairs Office at the Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas, 281-483-5111.
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