MOSCOW, November 30, 17:41 /ITAR-TASS/. The Russian transport ship Progress M-21M docked with the International Space Station (ISS) manually because of a misalignment in the rendezvous system, Energia Rocket and Space Corporation President Vitaly Lopota said on Saturday, November 30.
“Up to 30 metres the rendezvous process went normally but then problems began when the projected and gauged parameters did not match. The system stopped the rendezvous and put it on hold. Then, to save the fuel, we switched over to remote piloting and docked the transport ship,” he said.
Lopota noted that the purpose of the new Kurs-NA rendezvous system’s flight testing was to detect problems. “The system is on trial but we always have backups to do everything properly,” he added.
“We have no complaints to make to the system’s designers,” Lopota stressed.
Progress M-21M docked with the ISS at 02:30 Moscow time on November 30. It was supposed to dock automatically using the Kurs-NA rendezvous system but in the last 50 meters ISS Commander Oleg Kotov took over and finished the docking process manually.