The Russian Soyuz TM-34 manned transport spacecraft was
launched. The launch of the Souyz integrated launch vehicle
with Soyuz TM-34 manned spacecraft was accomplished at 10:26:35
Moscow summer time.

The launch is intended to carry out a planned replacement
of Soyuz TM-33, which has been operating within the International
Space Station since 23 October 2001 performing functions
of the crew rescue vehicle. The launch objectives are to
perform on-orbit activities under the third visiting crew
(VC-3) program, including space experiments and investigations
under the Italian (Marko Polo Project) and South African
programs, and solve logistics tasks for the Expedition Crew
ISS-4 flight.

According to the ISS assembly program the flight designation
is 4S.

This flight is a new step in promotion of the Russian-Italian
cooperation in space research by concurrently pursuing activities
related to the implementation of the commercial manned space
flight programs in the interests of foreign customers by
using Soyuz-type spacecraft.

The spacecraft has been injected into a near-earth orbit
with an inclination of 51.64?, minimum and maximum altitudes
of 192.67 km and 246.74 km, respectively. The revolution
is 88.59 min.

The spacecraft crew consists of Yuri Gidzenko (commander,
test cosmonaut of Yu.A. Gagarin RGNII CTC, performing his
third space flight), Roberto Vittori of Italian nationality
(flight engineer 1, astronaut of the European Space Agency)
and Mark Shuttleworth of South African nationality (space
flight participant). Roberto Vittori and Mark Shuttleworth
perform their first space flight.

On 20 April 2002 the fourth Expedition Crew (ISS-4) working
onboard the Orbital Complex and consisting of Russian cosmonaut
Yuri Onufrienko (commander) and U.S. astronauts Karl Walz
and Daniel Bursch (flight engineers) performed a transfer
of Soyuz TM-33 and redocked it from the nadir port of the
Functional Cargo Block Zarya to the port of the Russian
module Pirs.

The Expedition crew ISS-4 is completing the Orbital Complex
preparation for docking with Soyuz TM-34 spacecraft and
meeting VC-3 crew.

The spacecraft docking is slated on 27 April 2002 with a
contact to the cleared nadir port of module Zarya of the
ISS at approximately 11:57 Moscow time.

The members of the State Board (V.V. Alaverdov, Chairman,
State Secretary, First Deputy Director General of Rosaviakosmos)
and technical management of the Russian manned programs
(Yu.P. Semenov, Technical Manager of Russian Manned Programs,
General Designer of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia, Academician
of RAS) who have directed the Soyuz TM-34 prelaunch processing
and launch were present at the cosmodrome during the launch.
General designers and directors of companies, leading specialists
of rocket and space technology took part in the activities
of the State Board and technical management.

The launch was watched by deputies of the State Duma of
RF, representatives of foreign space agencies, general public
and business circles of Italy and South Africa, leading
Russian and foreign information agencies and TV companies.

The spacecraft flight is commanded by the Lead Operational
Control Team (LOCT) at the Mission Control Center (MCC-M),
Moscow area, working in close cooperation with the specialists
of the U.S. Mission Control Center (Houston). The LOCT includes
the managers and leading specialists from S.P. Korolev RSC
Energia, experts from other enterprises and organizations.
Flight Director is Pilot-Cosmonaut V.A. Soloviev.