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Russian Cargo Craft Docks to Space Station

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:16 pm via: NASA
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The ISS Progress 51 cargo craft completed a two-day journey to the International Space Station when it was captured at the Zvezda service module on Friday at 8:25 a.m. EDT, the cargo craft completed a hard mate when the docking hooks were deployed at 8:34 a.m.

Flight Engineers Pavel Vinogradov and Roman Romanenko monitored the docking 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 cargo craft, the Expedition 35 crew members will begin the long process of inventorying and unloading its 3.1 tons of food, fuel and equipment.

The unpiloted cargo craft launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 6:12 a.m. on Wednesday 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.

Unlike its three predecessors, Progress 51 was relegated to the typical two-day rendezvous because of the phasing and orbital mechanics associated with its launch date. It replaces the trash-filled ISS Progress 49 cargo craft which undocked from the station’s Zvezda service module on April 15.

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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