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Soyuz Launches Mission to Space Station / Will Film Japanese TV Commercial

A Soyuz U successfully launched Soyuz TM-33 from Baikonur Cosmodrome, pad LC 1, at 08:59 UTC on October 21. The spacecraft is expected to dock with the International Space Station (ISS) on October 23 at 11:41 UTC. The Soyuz capsule carried a three-person crew,  Russian cosmonauts Viktor Afanasyev (Commander) and Konstantin Kozeyev (Flight Engineer), as well as Frenchwoman Claudie Haignere (Flight Engineer), for a 10 day mission. Haignere, Afanasyev and Kozeyev will spend eight days at the space station conducting experiments, and are scheduled to return to Earth on October 31 using Soyuz TM-32. One of the main objectives of the flight is to deliver the new Soyuz spacecraft to the space station to serve as the station lifeboat in the event of an emergency. It is replaced every six months.

One of the highlights of the mission will be Afanasyev and Kozeyev filming a commercial for Japan's Dentsu Company on October 26-27 to advertise the popular Pocari Sweat soft drink. This will be the first time the Japanese have shot a TV commercial in space. The Soyuz TM-33 crew is bringing a supply of the popular beverage with them. The Russians are to film and act in the shoot. Dentsu will use a High-Definition TV camera and tapes, owned by Japan's National Space Development agency (NASDA), which is installed in the Russian module of the station, for 50 minutes of shooting. Dentsu has a contract giving them the right to 17 hours of filming inside the Russian module of the ISS. The approximate cost of the project is several hundreds of thousands of dollars. NASDA said Dentsu's free use of the tapes and camera, which it paid the Russians to take up, along with a small amount of unused weight allowance the agency has contracted from Russian launchers, are the extent of its financial contribution to the project. The commercial is expected to air next January. The Russian members of the ISS Expedition Three crew filmed a commercial for Kodak last week during their spacewalks from the Pirs Docking Compartment 1.

The mission is also sponsored by the French Ministry for Research and is being carried out under an agreement between the French space agency CNES, the Russian space agency Rosaviakosmos, and Russian aerospace giant RSC Energia. This visiting crew will study the operation of the human cardio-vascular system in zero gravity, the growth and development of plants, the crystallization of proteins, examine lightning strikes, and the pollution of Earth.

Before this Soyuz flight was launched, the space station's Expedition Three crew moved the Soyuz TM-32 from the Earth-facing port on the Zarya module to a new location on the Russian Pirs Docking Compartment, clearing the port for the arrival of the visiting crew.



Copyright 2001 - Andrews Space & Technology
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October 21, 2001

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On the Pads provides a summary of upcoming launches.

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