Headlines > News > Russian Cargo Craft Launches to Space Station

Russian Cargo Craft Launches to Space Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:33 pm via: NASA
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The unpiloted ISS Progress 51 cargo craft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 6:12 a.m. EDT Wednesday on a traditional two-day trip to the International Space Station. The Progress made it safely to orbit and deployed its solar arrays as planned. One of the five sets of KURS automated rendezvous antennas used as navigational aids did not deploy. Russian ground controllers are assessing the antenna, which is used to measure orientation of the Progress vehicle, and how to troubleshoot the problem.

Unlike its three predecessors, Progress 51 is relegated to the typical two-day rendezvous because of the phasing and orbital mechanics associated with this launch date.

The Russian cargo craft is scheduled to dock with the station’s Zvezda service module Friday at 8:26 a.m. It is loaded with 1,764 pounds of propellant, 48 pounds of oxygen, 57 pounds of air, 926 pounds of water and 3,483 pounds of spare parts, experiment hardware and other supplies for the station crew.

NASA TV docking coverage will begin at 7:45 a.m. Friday.

It replaces the trash-filled ISS Progress 49 cargo craft which undocked from the station’s Zvezda service module on April 15. The unpiloted Progress 49, which arrived at the station on Oct. 31, was deorbited by Russian flight controllers and burned up in Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean on Sunday. After undocking, the cargo craft served as an experiment platform that conducted daily thruster firings to help ground controllers in Russia calibrate radar systems.

Progress 51 will be filled with trash and station discards then undocked from the station on June 11 to make way for the arrival of the European Space Agency’s “Albert Einstein” Automated Transfer Vehicle 4 on June 15.

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