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Russian Resupply Vehicle Docks to Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Jun 24, 2011 10:11 am via: NASA
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The ISS Progress 43 spacecraft docked to the International Space Station at 12:37 p.m. EDT Thursday delivering three tons of fuel, air and supplies to the Expedition 28 crew. The unpiloted Russian resupply vehicle docked automatically to the aft port of the station’s Zvezda service module via the Kurs automated rendezvous system.

Flight Engineers Alexander Samokutyaev and Sergei Volkov monitored the docking of Progress 43 while at the controls of TORU, the Russian telerobotically operated rendezvous system, ready to take manual control of the automated docking process if difficulties arose.

After conducting leak checks at the docking interface and opening the hatch to the resupply vehicle, the Expedition 28 crew will begin the long process of inventorying and unloading the cargo. Once emptied, Progress 43 will be filled with trash and station discards and deorbited to burn in the Earth’s atmosphere like its predecessors.

Progress 43 launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 10:38 a.m. Tuesday to begin its two-day journey to the station.

Meanwhile, Commander Andrey Borisenko conducted some routine maintenance on the ventilation system in the Russian segment of the station.

Flight Engineers Ron Garan and Mike Fossum prepared tools and equipment for the spacewalk they will conduct when the STS-135 crew aboard space shuttle Atlantis visits the station during the final mission of the shuttle program. That launch is currently targeted for 11:26 a.m. on July 8.

As the station’s newest residents, Fossum, Volkov and Flight Engineer Satoshi Furukawa had some time set aside to continue familiarization and orientation activities. The trio arrived at the station June 9 aboard the Soyuz TMA-02M spacecraft.

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