After launch, Russian ground controllers monitored the module's systems through four ground site passes spaced an hour and a half apart. All systems were reported to be in good shape and operating as expected.
Today, Zvezda's propellant system and thruster jets were tested and verified to be in good working shape. Two test firings of the engines took place about 45 minutes apart in preparation for major rendezvous maneuvers scheduled tomorrow. The first was at 11:27 p.m. Wednesday EDT (7:27 a.m. Moscow time today). While it was a test burn only, it did serve as a small rendezvous maneuver for the module on its way to a linkup with the ISS. The result of the burn was a 2 mph (1 meter per second) increase in speed, placing the module in an orbit 210 by 106 statute miles (339 by 172 kilometers). The second burn, about 45 minutes later, occurred at 12:14 a.m. EDT today (8:14 a.m. in Moscow). It too, resulted in a change of velocity of 2 mph and raised the low end of the orbit another 3 statute miles. Again, both burns were designed as test burns to verify systems were working properly and ready to support major rendezvous maneuvers.
Other checkouts today included analyzing telemetry that verified the twin solar array drive motors were operating properly in pointing them toward the sun to gather energy for storage in the four batteries inside the module. Those batteries are reported to be working properly. Four additional batteries will be installed in the module during the next Space Shuttle visit to the International Space Station set for early September.
The solar arrays were repositioned for the two test burns to minimize any vibrations imparted during the engine firings. After the burns, the solar arrays were moved back to their normal operating positions.
Also completed was a test of the inertial navigation and star tracker navigation systems to verify the module can be reoriented for maneuvers and rendezvous burn.
During the four ground passes yesterday, telemetry showed that one of the two docking targets was not deployed. The target, however, would only be used during a manual docking, which is not planned on the service module's mission. Russian specialists believe the target actually is deployed and that sensors are not reading correctly. This is no impact to the docking by the ISS to the service module planned for 8:46 p.m. EDT on July 25.
The first two rendezvous maneuvers currently are scheduled for Friday at 1:19 a.m. EDT (9:19 a.m. in Moscow) and 1:54 a.m. EDT (9:54 a.m. Moscow time). The burns will raise both sides of the orbit - the first by an average of 30 miles) to 222 by 127 statute miles (354 x 240 kilometers) and the second by an average of 43 miles to 232 by 160 miles (373 x 257 kilometers).
Zvezda Rendezvous Burn Plan Reference: International Space Station altitude is 235 statute miles (376 kilometers). Time/DateVelocity ChangeTarget AltitudePurpose11:27 p.m. EDT,
July 122 mph, (1 m/s)210 x 106 statute miles,
(339 x 172 kilometers) Test burn
(Completed)12:13 a.m. EDT,
July 132 mph, (1 m/s)210 x 109 miles,
(339 x 175.5 km) Test burn
(Completed)1:19 a.m. EDT,
July 1436 mph, (16 m/s)222 x 127 miles,
(358 x 204 km) Altitude adjust1:54 a.m. EDT,
July 1444 mph, (20 m/s) 232 x 160 miles,
(373 x 257 km) Altitude adjust
At 8 a.m. EDT today, Zvezda was on its 22nd orbit in space traveling northeasterly across the southern Pacific Ocean.