Debra Rahn

Headquarters, Washington, DC

(Phone: 202/358-1638)

Eileen Hawley

Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX

(Phone: 281/483-5111)

RELEASE: 00-101

Next Space Station Component Presses Toward July Launch Date

Following a General Designer’s Review meeting in
Moscow today, NASA and the Russian Aviation and Space
Agency announced that plans remain on track for the
launch of the Zvezda service module on July 12 from the
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The addition of this
module sets the stage for the launch of other ISS
components undergoing final testing at the Kennedy Space
Center in Florida.

The Zvezda launch will follow the launch of a second
modified Russian Proton rocket on July 5 carrying a
Russian military communications satellite to orbit.

A definitive liftoff time will be known closer to the
launch date following detailed trajectory analysis by
Russian experts. This analysis will be based on optimum
lighting conditions for docking to the ISS while the two
spacecraft are over Russian ground communications

Following joint meetings in Moscow, including a
General Designer’s Review and a Joint Program Review, it
was agreed that Zvezda (Russian word for Star) – the
early living quarters for crews aboard the station – is
ready to begin final preparations for launch on a Proton
rocket fitted with modified second and third-stage
engines, which have been in redesign and testing for the
last five years.

The 42,000-pound Zvezda is 43 feet long (13 meters)
and has a solar array wingspan of 97.5 feet (30 meters).
It provides the early living quarters for astronauts and
cosmonauts and contains the life support system;
electrical power distribution; data processing system;
flight control system; and propulsion. The module
contains three pressurized compartments and four docking
ports. While many of these systems will be supplemented
or replaced by later U.S. station components, Zvezda
always will remain the structural and functional center
of the Russian segment of the International Space Station.

Following Zvezda’s launch and 14 days of free flight,
the ISS will rendezvous and dock with its newest module
using an automatic docking system, propellant and
thrusters in the Zarya control module.

The next several components of the ISS are on track
to meet their launch dates and include a small truss
segment that will serve as the support structure for
other station hardware; the first set of solar arrays;
the United States Destiny laboratory; the Canadian built
space station robot arm and several truss segments that
will serve as the station’s backbone for external
hardware, experiments and solar arrays.

– end –