Following a General Designerís Review held Monday in Moscow, the partners in the International Space Station announced that the Zvezda service module is set to be launched on Wednesday 12 July from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on a modified Proton launcher. The first European hardware destined for the Space Station ñ Zvezdaís central computing system – will be on board.


Launch is currently scheduled for approximately 07:05 Central European Time. A more refined liftoff time will be known closer to the launch date following detailed trajectory analysis by Russian ballistics experts. This analysis will be based on optimum lighting conditions for docking to the Space Station while the two spacecraft are over Russian ground communications stations.


Zvezda (Russian for "star") is the Russian-built element that will serve as the living quarters for the first crews to reside on the Space Station and will provide control of the Space Station until the arrival of the US Destiny laboratory next year. Zvezda is the third element to be launched to the Space Station.


ESA provided the Data Management System, which serves as the "brain" of Zvezda. This central computing system will not only control service module functions, but ultimately will also perform overall control, mission and failure management of the Russian segment of the

Space Station and will support overall navigation and guidance functions for the entire Space Station.


ESA delivered the computer hardware and software and the associated ground systems under an agreement with the Russian Space Agency Rosaviakosmos. The system was developed and manufactured in Europe by an industrial team lead by Astrium Space Infrastructure in Bremen, Germany.


Zvezda will also be carrying ESA- and Russian-built hardware to be used for the rendezvous and docking of ESAís Automated Transfer Vehicle. This vehicle, together with the Russian Progress M1, will reboost the Space Station, replenish Space Station propellant and dispose of waste material.

On 26 July, after 14 days of flight, Zvezda will dock with the two elements of the Space Station already in orbit. This three-element Space Station will enable astronauts to begin living and working on board. The first crew is scheduled to arrive in late October.


For further information, see:



Press opportunities around the Zvezda launch

Pre-launch opportunities

Tues 4 July German aerospace centre (DLR) press conference

Participants: Prof. Walter Kröll, Chairman of the DLR’s Executive Board

Josef Kind, Member of the Astrium Board, President Space Infrastructure

Location: German embassy in Moscow

Start time: 18:00 (Moscow time)

Contact: Andreas Schütz, DLR

Tel: +49 30 67055 130



Friday 7 July Pre-launch press conference

Participants: NASA, Russian and ESA officials

Location: Russian Mission Control Centre (TsUP), Korolev,

Russia (on outskirts of Moscow)

Start time: 14:00 (Moscow time)

Contact: ESA Moscow office

Tel: +7.095.928.7529


Participants are invited to tour the mission control centre after the press conference.



Tues 11 July ESA pre-launch press conference

Location: National Hotel, 15/1 Mokhovaya St, Moscow

Time: 17:00-18:00

Contact: ESA Moscow office

Tel: +7 095 928 7529

Launch day opportunities

Press are invited to cover the launch from various sites in Europe and in Russia.


ESA will broadcast the launch live, with images from Baikonur, the mission control centre (TsUP) near Moscow and ESAís Erasmus User Centre in The Netherlands. ESA programme officials will be on hand at each site for interviews.


As of 6 July, a taped message will provide up-to-date information on the launch. Please call +31 71 565 8016.

European press centre

Location: ESAís technical establishment ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands

Opening hours: 05:30 to 09:00.

Contact: Heidi Graf

ESTEC Public Relations
Tel: +31 71 565 3006

Fax: +31 71 565 5728


Location: ESA Headquarters, Paris, France

Contact: ESA Media Relations

Tel: +33 1 5369 7155


Location: ESA/ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany

Contact: Jocelyne Landeau-Constantin / Bettina Braunstein

Tel: +49 6151 90 2696 / 2459


Location: ESRIN, Villafranca, Italy

Opening hours: 06:15 – 08:00

Contact: Franca Morgia, ESRIN PR office

Tel: +39 06 94 180 951


Location: ESA Villafranca Satellite Tracking Station, Madrid, Spain

Contact: Valeriano Claros

Station Manager

Tel: +34 91 813 1211



Press are invited to witness the launch from the Russian mission control centre (TsUP) in Korolev, outside Moscow.

Contact: ESA Moscow office

Tel: +7.095.928.7529


Broadcasters are invited to witness the launch from any of the locations mentioned above, or can downlink the pre-event footage and live videotransmission.

The videotransmission (with clean international sound) will be broadcast from 06:45 to 07:15 CET on 12 July.

For further information and transmission details, contact:

Marie Noelle Oostijen

ESA TV Service

Tel: +31 71 565 3838


Public Relations Offices