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Progress cargo spacecraft to undock from ISS

January 24, 2012, 1:30 UTC+3
The ISS expedition members have been filling the craft with garbage and waste equipment for the past few weeks
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MOSCOW, January 24 (Itar-Tass) – Russian space cargo craft Progress is due to undock from the ISS shortly after 02:00 hours Moscow Standard Time /22:00 hours GMT/ and to start a one-day-long autonomous flight towards the Earth.

While en route to the Earth, the Progress is due to be engaged in an experiment codenamed ‘The Microsputnik’.

“The command for undocking will be issued at 02:07, and three minutes later the Progress M-13M will depart from the ISS,” a spokesman for Russia’s Space Flight Ground Control Mission told Itar-Tass.

The ISS expedition members have been filling the craft with garbage and waste equipment for the past few weeks.

The craft, which delivered a payload of over 2.6 tons to the ISS last November, has been docked to the ISS for about three months.

One of the cargoes it brought to the ISS was the Chibis-M /Lapwing/ research micro-satellite for studying the lightening discharges in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Thursday, the expedition installed it outside the cargo craft. Upon undocking, it will launch the satellite into a working orbit with an elevation of 500 km above the Earth.

At 03:15, the probe will be jettisoned with the aid of a special launch container and it will start an independent orbital mission.

January, a Progress M-14M cargo craft is due to dock to the Pirs docking compartment of the ISS. It is expected to bring 2.5 tons of different cargoes.

The craft is due to lift off from the Baikonur Space Center in central Kazakhstan January 26.

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