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Russian Space Cargo Ship Progress Undocks From ISS

The ISS Progress 26 on the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Image credit: NASA/Mark Bowman
by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti) Aug 02, 2007
Russia's Progress M-59 space cargo ship carrying garbage from the International Space Station has undocked, and its unburned fragments will land in the Pacific Ocean at 23:26 Moscow time (7:26 p.m. GMT). "The ship has undocked from the ISS in normal mode," a Mission Control spokesman said. Mission Control is preparing another cargo ship - Progress M-61 - for launch to the orbital station in line with the ISS flight program.

Mission Control said last week it successfully adjusted the station's orbit in preparation for the docking of the U.S. space shuttle Endeavour.

The launch of the NASA STS-118 mission is targeted for August 7. It will be the 22nd flight to the International Space Station (ISS) and the first flight for Endeavour since 2002.

earlier related report
ISS Progress 26 to Launch Thursday
The ISS Progress 26 (P26) craft is scheduled to launch Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at about 1:33 p.m EDT. The P26 vehicle rolled to its launch pad Tuesday loaded with 5,111 pounds of food, fuel, air, water and supplies.

The cargo craft also contains new Russian computers, cables, connectors and a commanding unit. The commanding unit will replace an identical unit on the station when the upcoming STS-118 mission visits. The unit is suspected of causing the computer failure during the STS-117 mission in June. P26 is scheduled to dock with the station on Aug. 5.

Wednesday's undocking of the ISS Progress 24 (P24) was successfully completed at 10:07 a.m. Configuration issues resulted in the Progress not doing the separation burn, but the deorbit burn occurred on time. P24 was about four miles from the station when the deorbit burn began a little after 2:40 p.m., sending the Progress and its load of trash to destruction in the Earth's atmosphere.

On the station, Flight Engineers Oleg Kotov and Clay Anderson took turns doing robotics proficiency training with ground controllers Wednesday in preparation for the STS-118 mission.

Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Kotov practiced rendezvous pitch maneuver (RPM) photography. They used digital cameras with 400mm and 800mm lenses to mimic their work during Endeavour's approach to the station on the STS-118 mission. The RPM is a 360-degree back flip by the shuttle, which is done so images of its heat shield may be taken.

earlier related report
Progress spacecraft set to lift off August 2
MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) - The Progress M-61 space cargo ship will deliver August 2 additional equipment to the International Space Station (ISS), which is needed to repair the onboard computer network, the Russian space agency said Wednesday.

A spokesman for the Federal Space Agency said that the launch of the cargo spacecraft, originally scheduled for July 23, was planned for 9:32 p.m. Moscow time (5:32 p.m. GMT) Thursday.

The ISS ran into difficulties when the steering system on the Russian segment was disabled June 12 after six computers crashed, which experts said could have been caused by changes in the ISS configuration after new solar arrays were connected.

The computer glitch was temporarily fixed by the ISS crew using components at hand, but the onboard network requires additional equipment to be fully repaired.

The Progress spacecraft will also deliver to the ISS water and food supplies, and equipment for a Japanese scientific research program conducted on board the orbital station.

Related Links
ISS Progress 26 Launch Blog
ISS Expedition 15 Blog
Station at NASA
Station and More at Roscosmos
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Space Station News at Space-Travel.Com

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Progress To Launch To Space Station
Baikonur, Kazakhstan (SPX) Jul 31, 2007
A new Progress cargo carrier is scheduled to launch to the International Space Station at 1:34 p.m. EDT Thursday, Aug. 2, with more than 2.5 tons of fuel, air, water and other supplies and equipment aboard. The station's 26th Progress unpiloted spacecraft will bring to the orbiting laboratory almost 1,600 pounds of propellant, more than 100 pounds of air and oxygen, more than 465 pounds of water and 2,954 pounds of dry cargo. Total cargo weight is 5,111 pounds.

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