Headlines > News > ISS Progress 47 Re-docking Postponed

ISS Progress 47 Re-docking Postponed

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Tue Jul 24, 2012 3:22 am via: NASA
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The re-docking of the Russian ISS Progress 47 resupply spacecraft to the International Space Station has been postponed due to an apparent failure in the new Kurs-NA rendezvous system.

The next earliest attempt at a docking would be no earlier than Tuesday, pending Russian analysis of the problem, but it is more likely Russian flight controllers and the ISS Program will decide to postpone a second docking attempt until after the Japanese HTV-3 cargo ship is grappled and berthed to the earth-facing port on the Harmony module on Friday. In that case, the next docking attempt for Progress would occur Saturday or Sunday.

The test was proceeding normally until about the time that the new Kurs-NA rendezvous system was to be engaged. As commands were being issued to activate the Kurs system, a failure was annunciated, triggering a passive abort.

A passive abort is a standard automatic procedure that is designed to take the spacecraft to a safe distance away from the station should an anomaly occur. From that position, the spacecraft can make another attempt to approach the space station after the failure is understood and Russian mission managers validate another attempt. Progress 47 flew approximately 1.8 miles below the station to a safe distance away from the orbiting outpost, where it will remain until another attempt is made to re-rendezvous with the space station.

The vehicle initially undocked from the station July 22 in order to perform a series of engineering tests during re-docking designed to verify an upgraded automated rendezvous system that will facilitate future dockings of Russian vehicles to the space station. Progress 47 separated from the station to a distance of about 100 miles and held position for 24 hours. It was to return to the orbiting outpost tonight to perform an automated linkup using a new version of the Kurs rendezvous system, Kurs-NA.

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