USIS Washington File

27 June 2000

Text: Third Component of Space Station Set for July Launch

(Zvezda module to serve as living quarters)(600)

A module to serve as the living quarters for scientists aboard the
International Space Station (ISS) is scheduled for a July 12 launch,
according to announcements by the National Aeronautics and Space
Administration (NASA) and the Russian Aviation and Space Agency.

The 18,900-kilogram Zvezda module is 13 meters long and has a solar
array wingspan of 30 meters. It contains the life support system,
electrical power distribution, data processing system, flight control
system and propulsion.

The governments of the United States, Canada, Japan, Russia and
members of the European Space Agency, as well as commercial, academic
and other international affiliates are collaborating to build the
space station. The Zvezda will be the third component installed, and
other ISS components are currently undergoing final testing at the
Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Following is the NASA press release:

(begin text)

NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC
Johnson Space Center, Houston, Texas

June 26, 2000

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 stations.

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

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: