the european space agency

the european space agency

Russia: Zero gravity is zero problem as Progress docks with ISS

1d ago
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1. M/S Progress 51 near ISS 2. M/S Progress 51 approaching ISS 3. W/S Progress near ISS 4. M/S Screen in control room showing docking 5. M/S Progress 51 prepares to dock with ISS 6. W/S Progress 51 in orbit 7. W/S Control room SCRIPT Russia: Zero gravity is zero problem as Progress docks with ISS The unmanned Progress 51 cargo capsule made a safe docking with the International Space Station (ISS) high above the Earth's atmosphere on Friday, overcoming difficulties with one of the spacecraft's antennae that failed to deploy when it launched. The capsule has over three tons of oxygen, food, water, research equipment, spare parts and fuel, which will allow the six people currently on board the ISS to continue their scientific work. Russian cosmonauts Roman Romanenko and Pavel Vinogradov oversaw a "soft docking" of the craft at 12:25 GMT, making sure the unopened antenna did not damage the space station. The full docking was then completed with "hooks closed," and the cargo ready to be loaded into the modules ISS crew members inhabit. The full docking was completed at 13:34 GMT, which is considerably slower than normal. The Progress 51 launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. Upon settling into orbit, one of the five KURS automated docking system antennae on the forward position of the spacecraft failed to deploy. Efforts by Russian controllers to jar or free the antenna from its latch mechanism during the transit, involving strategies such as firing the craft's thrusters and rolling to expose the module to alternating periods of sunlight and darkness, were unsuccessful. Progress 51 is scheduled to remain docked with the ISS until June 11, serving as a propulsion source for the ISS to adjust its altitude and avoid debris, also known as 'space junk'. Four days after it leaves, the European Space Agency's unmanned Automated Transfer Vehicle-4 is expected to dock with the ISS. "Progress" is a class of unmanned freighter spacecraft that have been in use since 1978 and are primarily used to bring supplies to space stations. A new series of Progress spacecraft, the Progress MS, is due to fly in 2014.