Following their launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 1:53 a.m. CST today, Soyuz Commander Yuri Gidzenko, Expedition 1 Commander Bill Shepherd and Flight Engineer Sergei Krikalev successfully deployed docking probes on the Soyuz and checked out the spacecraft's motion control systems. On two consecutive orbits, daily orbits 3 and 4, phasing burns were completed to keep the Soyuz on course for its rendezvous with the International Space Station. A third rendezvous burn is scheduled just before 3 a.m. tomorrow to slightly raise the Soyuz orbit and slow the rate at which it is approaching the space station.
During communications passes over Russian ground stations this morning, the crew talked with flight controllers, providing updated information on the performance of the Soyuz spacecraft and the crew's activities. During their final communications pass of the day, the trio confirmed a successful test of the external camera that provides cues during rendezvous and docking, and reported all crew members were feeling well. Shepherd, Gidzenko and Krikalev went to sleep about 9 a.m. CST today and will awaken about 6:30 p.m. CST to begin the second day of what's planned to be a four-month stay in space.
Flight control teams in Houston have activated life support systems and air purification units on board the space station, readying the outpost for the arrival of its first residents early Thursday morning. In addition, the flight controllers will support tonight's undocking of the Progress resupply vehicle, currently docked to the same port on the Zvezda module of the station to which the Expedition 1 crew will dock Thursday. The Progress will undock at 10:02 p.m. CST today, and shortly after 1 a.m. Wednesday will be commanded into a trajectory that will cause it to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere.