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Progress Launches to Space Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Mon Oct 31, 2011 9:14 am via: NASA
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The unpiloted ISS Progress 45 cargo craft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 6:11 a.m. EDT Sunday. Less than nine minutes later, the Progress reached its preliminary orbit and deployed its solar arrays and navigational antennas.

The Russian cargo craft is scheduled to dock with the International Space Station on Wednesday at 7:40 a.m. It contains 2.8 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 29 crew, including 1,653 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and air, 926 pounds of water and 3,108 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and other supplies.

It replaces the trash-filled ISS Progress 42 cargo craft which undocked from the station’s Pirs docking compartment Saturday. The unpiloted Progress 42, which arrived at the station in late April, was deorbited for a destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere a few hours after undocking.

Once the station crew members have unloaded the cargo, Progress 45 will be filled with trash and station discards, then undocked from the station in late January. Following its departure, controllers in Mission Control, Moscow, will raise its orbit to 310 miles (500 kilometers) so that they can deploy a microsatellite called Chibis. Once the microsatellite is deployed, Progress 45 will be deorbited for a destructive re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

On August 24 the ISS Progress 44 cargo craft experienced a third-stage engine shutdown during its launch due to an anomaly. Given the trajectory and energy, the Progress did not reach orbit and landed in the Altai Region of Russia.

The successful launch sets the stage for the launch of the station’s next three residents on Nov. 13. NASA’s Dan Burbank and Russia’s Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin will arrive at the station Nov. 16, joining NASA’s Mike Fossum, Russia’s Sergei Volkov and Japan’s Satoshi Furukawa for about six days before Fossum, Volkov and Furukawa return home.

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