Following a General Designer's 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 - Zvezda's 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 ESA's 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
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
German embassy in Moscow
18:00 (Moscow time)
Andreas Schütz, DLR
Tel: +49 30 67055 130
Friday 7 July
Pre-launch press conference
NASA, Russian and ESA officials
Russian Mission Control Centre (TsUP), Korolev,
Russia (on outskirts of Moscow)
14:00 (Moscow time)
ESA Moscow office
Participants are invited to tour the mission control centre after the press conference.
Tues 11 July
ESA pre-launch press conference
National Hotel, 15/1 Mokhovaya St, Moscow
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 ESA's 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
ESA's technical establishment ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
05:30 to 09:00.
ESTEC Public Relations
Tel: +31 71 565 3006
Fax: +31 71 565 5728
ESA Headquarters, Paris, France
ESA Media Relations
Tel: +33 1 5369 7155
ESA/ESOC, Darmstadt, Germany
Jocelyne Landeau-Constantin / Bettina Braunstein
Tel: +49 6151 90 2696 / 2459
ESRIN, Frascati, Italy
06:15 - 08:00
Franca Morgia, ESRIN PR office
Tel: +39 06 94 180 951
ESA Villafranca Satellite Tracking Station, Madrid, Spain
Tel: +34 91 813 1211
Press are invited to witness the launch from the Russian mission control centre (TsUP) in Korolev, outside Moscow.
ESA Moscow office
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