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MOSCOW, August 20 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian cargo resupply spacecraft Progress, which has been circling in a near-Earth orbit for three weeks as a science laboratory, will be submerged in the Pacific on Monday, an official at the Mission Control Center (MCC) told Itar-Tass.
The MCC official said, "At 19:20, Moscow time, the engines of the Progress M-15M will be ignited for the purpose of deceleration. The spacecraft will begin to depart from orbit and approximately at 20:12 the unburnt fragments of the spacecraft will reach the surface of the Pacific Ocean".
The Progress undocked from the ISS on July 31 on a command from Earth and was brought to a lower orbit. "During the autonomous flight of the spacecraft, several sessions of the geophysical experiment Radar-Progress were held. The purpose of the experiment was to determine spatial-and-time dependencies of density, temperature, and composion of local ionospheric inhomogeneities arising as a result of the spacecraft engines' operation," the MCC official pointed out.
The Progress M-15M will be submerged in a specially assigned area of the Pacific, away from shipping lanes.