The International Space Station’s newest module, Zvezda, has completed all of its planned maneuvers and now awaits the arrival of its permanent home in space as the Zarya control module takes over the remaining rendezvous tasks. The updated docking time is 8:44 p.m. Eastern Tuesday.
With one day remaining in its solo flight, Zvezda now becomes the passive vehicle and the ISS will perform a series of orbital burns to eventually move within range of Zvezda as the two spacecraft move within range of Russian ground tracking stations.
In preparation for docking, Russian flight controllers sent commands to Zarya’s computer to extend its docking probe in anticipation of the docking. Telemetry verified it to be in the proper position and ready for the capture of Zvezda.
Zvezda’s final three rendezvous and correction burns took place Friday and Saturday night, placing the module in a 224 by 180 mile orbit (361 by 290 km). Rendezvous burn 3 occurred at 9:44 p.m. Friday (43 seconds). Rendezvous burn 4 took place at 10:20 p.m. (8 seconds). Combined, the two burns raised the overall orbit of Zvezda by 25 miles. The last jet firing, a 9-second correction burn, raised the perigee, placing the module in the desired orbit for tomorrow night’s docking.
Upon full team agreement, the go will be given to proceed and the automatic docking sequence will continue after a station-keeping period at 30 meters. If all goes well, the two will dock permanently while flying high above Russia.
sequence of events includes:
Immediately after docking, the solar arrays will begin tracking the sun again and Zarya’s Motion Control System will be deactivated. Within a few days after docking, the critical transfer of attitude control of the ISS will be switched from Zarya’s computers to those on Zvezda.
NASA Television coverage of the docking begins at 8 p.m. EDT Tuesday and can also be viewed on the agency’s Human Spaceflight Website at: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov
As of Noon EDT Monday, Zvezda had completed 200 orbits of the Earth since its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome July 12. The next Mission Control Center status report will be issued after docking Tuesday night. For more information, call the Johnson Space Center Newsroom at 281/483-5111.
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