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Waste-loaded Progress tug undocked from ISS to drown in Pacific

October 29, 2011, 14:50 UTC+3

A pulse for deceleration will be issued three hours later (at 16.11)

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MOSCOW, October 29 (Itar-Tass) — Specialists of the Russian Mission Control Centre started an operation on drowning a waste-loaded Progress ferry. "The Progress M-10M tug separated from the International Space Station at 13.04 MT,” Itar-Tass leant at Russian Mission Control.

A pulse for deceleration will be issued three hours later (at 16.11). Progress will start descenting from the orbit, and its fragments will reach he Pacific surface 50 minutes later at a special area far from shipping lanes.

A Mission Control representative noted that the tug, docked to the Pirs module, arrived exactly six months ago. In the meantime, Russian cosmonauts from the ISS-27/28 and ISS-28/29 crews -- Andrei Borisenko, Alexander Samokutyaev and Sergei Vokov loaded manually more than a tonne of garbage and worked-out equipment aboard Progress.

It is difficult to determine the exact weight of waste, since there are bulky though light cargoes, and there are small but heavy containers, Mission Control explained. One thing can be said for sure: Progress which was two months longer than the set period over the failure of “its reliever”, was packed nearly to overflowing.

An expert said that “tugs are loaded above all with what has a great volume, interfering with cosmonauts’ work. However, “something remains all the same”.

The docking unit at Pirs will remain vacant till November 2 when the next ferry will dock to it – the Progress M-13M which will bring to the station over 2.6 tonnes of cargoes. Another berth (at laboratory module Rassvet (Dawn) is occupied by “the life boat” for the crew – the manned Soyuz TMA-02M.

The other two units of the Russian ISS segment remain vacant: the manned Soyuz TMA-22 is to dock to one of them (to Poisk laboratory module) on November 16. It will bring to the station a new mission, while the other one (Zvezda service module) will be used for docking the third European ferry of the ATV series – Edoardo Amaldi (in February).

Following its arrival, adjustments of the ISS orbit will be carried out with Zvezda jets, Mission Control noted.


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