International Space Station
News and Rumors

Latest addition (March 25, 2002)


NASA picture by Julie Johnson (LARC)
config after STS-104
ISS/Alpha configuration after STS-104 mission departed in July, 2001 (NASA)
config after mission 4R

Mission 4R delivered and docked the Russian Docking Compartment and Strela Boom using a Progress vessel on a Soyuz booster at 01:05 UTC on September 17, 2001 while over Mongolia. The NASA image above depicts the docking location between the Zarya and Zvezda modules with the Progress vessel still attached. The docking module will provide egress/ingress for Russian space walks and an additional Soyuz docking port. Launch took place on September 14, 2001 at 23:35 UTC. Anatoly Zak has further details on the Russian Docking Compartment.

ISS News& Rumors (latest on top)

(March 25, 2002) Progress M1-7 (6P) undocked on March 19, 2002 at 17:43 UTC. Progress M1-8 (7P) launched on March 21 at 20:13 UTC. Docking took place on March 24, 2002 at 20:58 UTC.

(December 3, 2001) A rubber o-ring was extracted during an EVA that allowed the Progress M1 (6P) to hard-dock allowing the launch of STS-108 to proceed. The EVA is described at SpaceFlightNow .

(November 30, 2001) Undocking of the Progress M-45 occurred on November 22 at 16:12 UTC for a destructive re-entry. Docking of a new Progress M1-6 at Zvezda took place on November 28 at 19:43 UTC. Later reports note that the Progress was unable to hard dock. This will delay the Endeavour launch to December 4th or later with docking two days later.
An EVA is planned for December 3, 2001 starting at 13:30 UTC to remove the obstacle preventing the hard dock of the new Progress.

(November 1, 2001) The older TM-32 Soyuz capsule undocked from the Pirs port at 01:39 UTC October 31, 2001 with the three member taxi crew and subsequently landed in central Asia a few hours later.

(October 23, 2001)Docking of the new Soyuz TM-33 took place on October 23 at 10:44 UTC over Russia. The visiting Soyuz taxi crew of Russian commander Victor Afanasyev, flight engineer Konstantin Kozeev and Claudie Haignere of France is scheduled to spend a week aboard Alpha before flying the old Soyuz capsule (TM-32) back to Earth on October 30.

(October 19, 2001)On October 19, 2001 all three members of the Expedition Three crew, which is led by American Frank Culbertson, climbed into their Soyuz lifeboat capsule and undocked (10:48 UTC) from the Zarya module for a quick relocation maneuver (16 minutes). They docked the Soyuz to Pirs, freeing up the Zarya port for a fresh Soyuz capsule.

(September 26, 2001)The Progress vessel (M-SO-1) that delivered the Russian Docking Compartment (Pirs) was detached from Pirs on September 26 at 15:36 UTC and subsequently made a destructive re-entry a few orbits later.

(August 23, 2001) Progress M-45 arrived and docked at Zvezda's aft port. This is the fifth cargo vessel to arrive at Alpha.

(August 22, 2001) Progress M1-6 departed Zvezda's aft port for a destructive reentry in order to make room for the arrival of the next cargo vessel.

(August 22, 2001)The Third Expedition Crew has occupied Alpha with the departure of Discovery (STS-105).

(May 23, 2001) The new cargo vessel Progress M1-6 docked at Zvezda's aft port on May 23, 2001 at around 00:24 UTC.

(May 5, 2001) The new Soyuz TM-32 docked as originally planned at the vacant nadir port on Zarya. Endeavour undocked as originally planned. Soyuz TM-31 undocked from Zvezda's aft port with the ferry crew on May 6 at 02:24 UTC and landed in Kazakhstan at 05:41 UTC. A new Progress vehicle is due to launch on May 20th.

(April 15, 2001)Cargo vessel Progress M-44 will undock from Zvezda's aft port April 16 around 08:30 UTC for a destructive reentry. The Soyuz TM-31 will be moved from Zarya's nadir port to Zvezda's aft port April 18 around 13:36 UTC to free up that port for the new Soyuz TM-32 due to dock on April 30. STS-100 is scheduled to dock on April 21 and undock on April 28.

(March 21, 2001)The second crew of Alpha took over command on March 19, 2001 after the hatches were closed just prior to undocking. The first crew was returned to earth by Discovery's landing on March 22 at 07:32 UTC. The first crew spent 136 days aboard Alpha and 141 days in space.
Next up will be the launch of a new Soyuz TM-32 on April 28, 2001 to replace the existing Soyuz docked at Alpha since Nov 2, 2000. It is planned to dock at Zarya's nadir port.

(February 28, 2001)Cargo vessel Progress M-44 docked at Zvezda's aft port at 09:50 UTC. It was launched at 08:09 UTC on Feb 26. It is the third cargo vessel to dock with Alpha.

(February 24, 2001)The Soyuz TM-31 spacecraft with all three crew members aboard was moved from Zvezda's aft port to Zarya's nadir port on February 24 between 10:06 UTC and 10:37 UTC. This makes room for the new Progress M-44 docking on February 28.

(February 16, 2001)Atlantis undocked from Alpha on February 16 at 14:06 UTC over the western Pacific. Alpha's orbit has been raised approximately 25km over the past several days by Atlantis. Alpha's atitude will be controlled by the new gyro control system and the the P6 solar arrays will be tracking the sun automatically for optium electrical generation.

(February 11, 2001)Atlantis docked with ISS's Unity module at its nadir port at 16:51 UTC on Feb 9 over the western Pacific in preparation to attach the Destiny Lab. Alpha/Shuttle's perigee was raised approximately 2km by the Shuttle's manuvering thrusters to avoid space debris before Destiny was attached to Alpha's Unity module several hours later. The apogee was raised seven more kilometers on Feb 11. Additional boosts are scheduled for Feb 13, 14, and 15.

(February 8, 2001)Progress M1-4 undocked from Zarya's nadir port on February 8 at 11:26 UTC for a planned destructive re-entry over the South Pacific in preparation for the Atlantis docking on February 9.

(January 18, 2001)The work schedule for the Alpha Crew will be be significantly increased because of the delayed launch of STS-98 in early February. SpaceFlightNow.Com has details.

(January 8, 2001)Chris van den Berg provides a report on the communications monitored from the ISS.

(December 26, 2000)Progress M1-4 successfully manually redocked at Zarya's nadir port at 11:03 UTC.

(December 9, 2000) STS-97 undocked with Alpha at 19:13 UTC while over eastern China Following the successful installation of the P6 solar arrays.

(December 2, 2000)STS-97 hard docked with Alpha at 20:08 UTC while over eastern China.

(December 1, 2000)Following the successful launch of Endeavour, the Alpha crew undocked the Progress M1-4 at 16:23 UTC on December 1, 2000. Its orbit was lowered temporarily to gain distance ahead of Alpha. It will remain within 2500 km of the ISS instead of performing a destructive reentry. Safety reviews will have to be conducted before another attempt is made in late December to redock using the automatic docking system which failed on the original docking. The Russians believe they have corrected the software problem that caused the Progress not to lock onto the Zarya's downward facing nadir docking port. The Progress was unloaded and refilled with Alpha's trash.

(November 18, 2000)The second freighter launched to the ISS, Progress M1-4 was launched on November 16, 2000 at 01:32 UTC for a planned automatic docking with ISS Alpha Zarya's downward facing nadir docking port at around November 18 at 03:06 UTC. Problems with the automatic docking system required the docking controls be shifted to the manual TORU system. After two attempts docking occurred at 03:48 UTC.

(November 2, 2000)The Expedition 1 Crew docked with Space Station Alpha (ISS) on November 2, 2000 at 09:21 UTC. The three man crew entered Zvezda at 10:23 UTC to begin a 4 month stay.

(October 31, 2000)Soyuz TM-31 launched on October 31, 2000 at 07:53 UTC with a three man crew for a four month stay. They plan to dock with the ISS on November 2, 2000 at 08:20 UTC. The Progress M1-3 cargo vessel is planned to undock on November 1, 2000 at 04:02 UTC for a destructive re-entry.

(October 23, 2000)STS-92 completed installation of the Z1 Truss structure and the PMA-3 docking adapter. Additional supplies were transferred to the ISS.

(August 8, 2000)A Progress M1-3 supply vessel was launched on a logistics and supply mission to the ISS on August 6 at 18:27 UTC. Docking took place on August 8, 2000 at 20:13 UTC.

(July 26, 2000) The Russian Space Agency's Zvezda Service Module, launched on July 12, 2000 at 04:56 UTC has docked with the ISS on July 26, 2000 at 00:45 UTC.

(October 13, 1999) The proposed launch date for Zvezda was moved back from late 1999 to February 2000 due to problems with the shuttle scheduling.

(September, 1999) Russia has crews in training to provide support, if necessary, to manually dock the Russian Service Module (Zvezda) to the Zarya/Unity module if problems arise in auto-docking. The Russians would launch two crew-members in a Soyuz TM and dock and board the newly launched Russian Service Module and then actively move the Zarya/Unity module to the passive Zvezda for docking. Thus, there is a good possibility that Russia will occupy the ISS complex before the official three man crew of one American and two Russians attempt to board the ISS complex now scheduled for March of 2000.

(April 15, 1999) Russia has announced that it could launch the Service Module as early as September 1999 (with additional funding). NASA believes a November 1999 launch date is more realistic.

(February 26, 1999) It's not official, but NASA believes the Russian Service Module will not be available until late 1999 or early 2000. NASA will have a better idea by mid-April.

(January 30, 1999) It's official. Gretchen McClain, NASA's deputy associate administrator for the ISS, announced the Russian Service Module will not be available for launch before September, 1999.

(January 3, 1999) Launch of the Service Module may not occur until September 1999.

(October 2, 1998) A new revised schedule has the following launches listed:

(August 5, 1998) Based on testimony at the House Science Committee, and reported by Reston's NASA Watch, an apparent decision has been made by NASA to use the ICM (now identified as ICM-2) much later on in the development of the ISS as a propellant storage/reboost module with the Russian Service Module in place. The plan now is to modify the Reaction Control System (RCS) on the shuttles to allow additional fuel to flown (at the cost of payload) so the shuttle can reboost the ISS complex during missions.
Decreasing supplies of Soyuz boosters and Progress vessels make it inevitable that there will not be enough (previously agreed to) Russian support to ensure the ISS complex can be maintained in an operating orbit. A big question now is how soon the Russian Service Module will be ready to fly. It's likely that the launch of this vehicle could be delayed until late 1999.

(June 1, 1998) NASA announced the revised schedule for the first three components that will make up the ISS.

(Jan 17, 1998) The Russian built US Control Module (formally known as the FGB) was rolled out and displayed before being shipped to the Baikonur launch site.

Back to the main ISS Page

Links: to the VSO Home Page, the observing guide, satellite predictions.