Thursday, April 25, 2013

Progress 51 Set to Dock Friday Following Antenna Problems

The Russian Progress 51 spacecraft, which launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday, is set to dock with the International Space Station on Friday at 1:26 p.m. GMT.

The Progress launched on Wednesday loaded with over 6,000 pounds worth of cargo, which includes fresh food for the astronauts on board the orbiting outpost, oxygen, spare parts and propellant, is set to rendezvous and dock to the ISS following the traditional two-day journey to the orbiting laboratory.
The Progress Resupply Vehicle Approaches the ISS
Credit: NASA

At the moment however, Russian Flight Controllers and International Space Station Managers are continuing to monitor a situation which developed after the Progress reached low-Earth orbit. The Progress' solar arrays were deployed shortly after launch as planned. However, one of the antennas for the KURS automated rendezvous system did not deploy, with  its antennas still folded up against the side of the vehicle. Teams made up of a number of Programme Managers are now assessing the safety of a docking to the space station's Zvezda Service Module, before determining whether Progress will press ahead for its planned docking on Friday.

More to follow...