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Forum:Soviet - Russian Space
Topic:Progress M-21M (53P) ISS resupply craft
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During its four-day journey to the orbiting complex, the ISS Progress 53 cargo ship will conduct a "flyby" of the station to test an enhanced docking system for future Russian spacecraft.

At the time of launch, the station was flying about 260 miles over southern Russia, near the northeast border with Kazakhstan.

Progress M-21M, which along with its Soyuz booster was rolled out to Baikonur's Site 31 launch pad on Saturday, is delivering 1,763 pounds of propellant, 48 pounds of oxygen, 57 pounds of air, 925 pounds of water and 3,119 pounds of spare parts and experiment hardware to the station.

Once the Progress reached its preliminary orbit nine minutes after launch and deployed its solar arrays, it was set to begin a series of automated engine burns to put it on track to fly within one mile of the station on Wednesday.

That close encounter "flyby" Wednesday at 3:53 p.m. CST (2153 GMT) will test lighter, more-efficient Kurs automated rendezvous system hardware for upgraded Soyuz and Progress vehicles.

After it finishes its "flyby," the Progress will loop above and behind the station, returning Friday for a docking to the aft port of the Zvezda service module at 4:28 p.m. CST (2228 GMT).

Robert Pearlman
Progress M-21M docks with space station

A Russian space freighter docked to the aft port of the International Space Station’s Zvezda service module at 4:30 p.m. CST (2230 GMT) on Friday (Nov. 29), delivering almost three tons of food, fuel, supplies and holiday gifts for the Expedition 38 crew.

The Progress M-21M cargo ship, which launched Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, performed an automated approach to the station using upgraded Kurs automated rendezvous equipment. The on-orbit performance of the new Kurs hardware was tested earlier by Russian flight controllers during a flyby of the station Wednesday during which the Progress came to within one mile of the orbiting complex.

The lighter, revamped Kurs system will be integrated into advanced Progress and piloted Soyuz vehicles in the future.

When the Progress was about 200 feet (60 meters) from the docking port, it went into an unexpected station keeping mode. Expedition 38 commander Oleg Kotov took over manual control of the vehicle using TORU, the telerobotically operated docking system, and guided the vehicle in for a successful docking.

At the time of docking, the station was flying about 260 miles (420 km) over Kazakhstan.

On Saturday, the crew will open the hatch to the Progress to begin unloading its cargo. Progress M-21M is filled with 2.9 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the space station crew, including 1,763 pounds of propellant, 48 pounds of oxygen, 57 pounds of air, 925 pounds of water and 3,119 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and holiday gifts.

Robert Pearlman
Progress undocks for automated rendezvous test

The Progress M-21M resupply craft separated from the International Space Station at 3:58 a.m. CDT (0858 GMT) on Wednesday (April 23) and completed its first engine fire to move it a safe distance away.

The Progress will position itself about 311 miles (500 km) away from the orbiting outpost, where it will begin to reapproach the station. The spacecraft is scheduled to re-rendezvous with the space station on Friday (April 25).

Redocking with the Zvezda service module is scheduled for 7:15 a.m. CDT (1215 GMT).

Progress M-21M will rendezvous with a new system, known as Kurs-NA. Kurs-NA uses only a single antenna, allowing four others to be removed, leaving only three or half as many as current versions of the spacecraft. Kurs-NA also will use less power, improve safety and possess updated electronics.

Robert Pearlman
Progress completes automated rendezvous test

The Progress M-21M space freighter redocked to the Zvezda service module at 7:13 a.m. EDT (1213 GMT) Friday (April 25) after two days of tests of its upgraded Kurs automated rendezvous system.

The hatches to the Russian cargo craft were opened a few hours after the redocking and will remain open until the resupply vehicle is prepared for a final undocking June 9 and deorbit to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

Robert Pearlman
Progress departs station for destructive reentry

Russia's Progress M-21M cargo craft departed the International Space Station on Monday (June 9) at 8:29 a.m. CDT (1329 GMT), as it undocked from the Zvezda service module.

Filled with trash and discarded gear, the Progress was set to reenter the Earth's atmosphere a few hours later for a fiery destruction over the Pacific Ocean.

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