At 11 hours 37 minutes 20 seconds Moscow Summer Time the Russian Soyuz TM-32 manned transport vehicle was launched by the Soyuz-U launch vehicle from Baikonur cosmodrome in support of the subsequent activities aimed at implementation of the International Space Station (ISS) ambitious project.

The launch objective is to provide the scheduled change of the Soyuz
TM-31, which has been operating since November 2, 2000 as part of the
International Space station (ISS) and performs the services of assured
crew return vehicle staying permanently attached to the Complex when
prime crew is engaged in its activities aboard the ISS. In addition,
it is foreseen to conduct the activities aboard the Orbital Complex
under the Visiting Program and accomplish the tasks of flight engineering
for ISS-2 crew.

Under the ISS deployment program the flight is designated by 2S.

The space vehicle is injected into a calculated near-earth orbit with
inclination of 51,63*, minimum and maximum flight altitudes of 192,8
and 247,0 km, respectively. In so doing, an orbital period is 88,60

There is a three-man crew of the first russian visiting expedition (VE-1)
aboard the space vehicle: the Russian cosmonauts Talgat Musabayev (Crew
Commander), Yuri Baturin (Flight Engineer) and the US citizen Dennis
Tito, who got pre-flight space training in the Russian Cosmonauts Training
Center after Yu.A. Gagarin, and will visit the ISS Orbital Complex as
a space tourist.

The space vehicle docking is scheduled to occur on April 30, 2001, while
coming in contact with a free docking port of the Zarya Module of the
ISS Orbital Complex will be at 12:07 Moscow Time.

During implementation of the program the VE-1 crew will get the Soyuz
TM-31 vehicle ready for its undocking from the station, perform autonomous
flight and deorbiting. In particular, the visiting crew will carry its
personal couches from the Soyuz TM-32 descent vehicle into it. During
its return to Earth the crew members will occupy the coaches. Landing
of the Soyuz TM-31 descent vehicle is slated for May 6, 2001.

The Soyuz TM-32 vehicle prelaunch processing and launch at Baikonur
cosmodrome were performed under the direction of the Technical Director
of the Russian Manned Programs, General Designer of RSC Energia after
S.P. Korolev, the academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences Yu.P.
Semenov. The Soyuz TM-32 vehicle flight is commanded by the Lead Operational
Control Team (LOCT) housed in the Moscow Mission Control Center (Korolev)
and operating in a close cooperation with the specialists of the American
Mission Center based in Houston. The LOCT involves the managers and
leading specialists from RSC Energia after S.P. Korolev, experts from
other enterprises and entities. Flight Director is Pilot-Cosmonaut V.A.