The implementation of the large-scale International Space Station (ISS)

Today at 12 hours 59 minutes 35 seconds Moscow Summer Time (8:59 a.m.
GMT), a Russian manned transport spacecraft Soyuz TM-33 was launched
from Baikonur launch site. The launch was performed with Soyuz-U rocket.

The mission objective is to perform a planned replacement of Soyuz TM-32
spacecraft, which has been operating as a part of the ISS space station
since April 30, 2001 as a crew rescue vehicle. Other objectives of the
mission include: conducting on-board the space station activities under
the program of the second Russian visiting mission to the space station,
including conducting space experiments and studies under French Andromeda
program; providing technical support for the third main crew mission
to ISS (ISS-3).

The mission has designation 3S under the ISS deployment program and
is a continuation of the Russian-French cooperation in space.

The spacecraft was put into its target low-Earth orbit with inclination
of 51.66°, minimum and maximum altitudes of 191.3 and 226.5 km, respectively.
The orbital period is 88.42 minutes.

The Russian-French crew of the spacecraft consists of Russian cosmonaut
Victor Afanasiev (Crew Commander, Instructor-test-cosmonaut of Yu. Gagarin
Cosmonaut Training Center (TsPK), making his fourth flight into space),
French astronaut Claudie Haignere (Flight Engineer-1, European Space
Agency, representative of French National Center of Space Research (CNES)),
who has a previous space flight experience and will be the first representative
of France on-board ISS, and Konstantin Kozeev (Flight Engineer-2, Test
Cosmonaut of S.P.Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation Energia, Russia).

The main expedition crew ISS-3 working on-board the space station and
consisting of F.Culbertson (Commander), V.Dezhurov (Pilot, Commander
of Soyuz TM spacecraft) and M.Turin (Flight Engineer – Test Cosmonaut
of RSC Energia), on October 19, 2001 flew Soyuz TM-32 spacecraft, taking
it from the nadir docking port of the Functional Cargo Module Zarya
and re-docking it to the docking port of the new Russian module Pirs,
and are now completing preparations of the space station for the docking
with Soyuz TM-33 and their meeting with the second visiting crew.

The docking of the spacecraft is set for October 23, 2001 with initial
contact with the cleared nadir docking port of the Zarya module of ISS
scheduled for about 3 p.m.

The second visiting crew, during their ten-day mission, which includes
8 days of work on-board the space station, will prepare Soyuz TM-32
for its return to Earth, and also conduct various experiments and studies
with participation of ISS-3 crew, including experiments under Andromeda

The landing of the Soyuz TM-32 descent vehicle is scheduled for October
31, 2001.

Processing and launch of Soyuz TM-33 at the launch site were performed
under the direction of the Technical Director of the Russian manned
space program, Designer General of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, member
of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Yu.P. Semenov.

The spacecraft mission is controlled by the Lead Operations Control
Team (LOCT), located at the Mission Control Center near Moscow (MCC-M)
working in cooperation with the specialists of the US mission control
(Houston). LOCT team includes managers and leading specialists of S.P.
Korolev RSC Energia, specialists from other companies and organizations.
The Flight Director is cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev.

The preparations for the launch and the launch were witnessed by Rosaviacosmos
Director General Yu.N.Koptev and representatives of the French Embassy
to the Russian Federation, Russian Aviation and Space Agency, European
Space Agency (ESA), French space agency (CNES), national aviation and
space agency of Kazakhstan Republic, a large team of reporters from
the leading Russian and foreign information afgencies and TV companies.

Ambassador of France to Russia Claude Blanchemaison observed the launch
of the spacecraft from MCC-M.