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Russian mission control centre testing new Kurs navigation antenna

July 23, 2012, 2:23 UTC+3
During the autonomous mission the space freighter will make several manoeuvres
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MOSCOW, July 23 (Itar-Tass) —— The resupply spacecraft Progress undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) and went on a autonomous mission for more than a day. The specialists are to test a new navigation antenna of the docking system Kurs by means of the space freighter.

“The resupply spacecraft Progress M-15M undocked at 00:26 Moscow time from the module Pirs,” a source in the Mission Control Centre outside Moscow told Itar-Tass on Monday.

During the autonomous mission the space freighter will make several manoeuvres. On Monday afternoon the space freighter will make a trial approaching manoeuvre to the ISS, but will dock back to the docking module Pirs at 05:58 Moscow time on July 24.

“This is a regular operation for the spacemen, but this test is important for the specialists to move forward and use this system onboard the piloted spaceships Soyuz,” flight engineer Yuri Malenchenko told a press conference before the flight.

The space freighter will undock finally from the ISS on July 30. The Radar-Progress experiment will be conducted onboard the resupply vehicle for several days, then it will be dumped in the designated area of the Pacific. A next resupply vehicle Progress M-16M will dock to the ISS on August 2.

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