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MOSCOW, August 20 (Itar-Tass) —— The remains of the Russian Progress transport ship sank in the Pacific on Monday, August 20.
“The engines of the Progress M-15M transport ship, which was flying in autonomous mode for nearly three weeks, were activated at 19:22 Moscow time today by the onboard computer,” the Mission Control Centre told Itar-Tass.
The engines gave a retrofire burn, after which the ship will start de-orbiting and its unburnt pieces will reach the surface of the Pacific at about 20:12 Moscow time.
Progress undocked from the International Space Station on July 31 and was put on a lower orbit. “During three weeks in orbit several stages of the geophysical experiment Radar-Progress were carried out. Its main purpose is to use ground-based monitoring means to study reflective properties of plasma inhomogeneities generated in the ionosphere by the working engines of the transport ship,” the Mission Control Centre said.
The results of the experiment were registered by an Earth-based radar station owned by the Institute of Solar-Terrestrial Physics of the Irkutsk Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
Prior to becoming a flying laboratory, Progress M-15M had accomplished a scientific mission: it helped test a new antenna of the digital docking system Kursk-NA.
Before undocking from the ISS, Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, Sergei Revin and Yuri Malenchenko manually loaded more than a tonne of waste and spent equipment aboard the transport ship.