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“The undocking took place as scheduled at 17:30 Moscow time (13:30 GMT),” the spokesperson said. “Progress thrusters will be switched on for the slowdown at 20:34 Moscow time (16:34 GMT) and at 21:23 Moscow time (17:23 GMT) the unburned fragments of the spacecraft will be sunk in the non-navigation area of the Pacific Ocean.”
The non-navigation area at the issue is also referred to as the “spaceship cemetery” and is located not far from the Christmas Island. This is a designated area, where numerous spacecraft, including the defunct Soviet space station Mir, were sunk.
Russia’s Progress-family space freighters have been serving the ISS for decades and are used not only to bring cargo and food to the station but to adjust the orbit of the ISS as well. The station’s orbit is adjusted regularly to ensure safe docking of the freighters and manned spacecraft as well as to avoid possible collision with space debris.
The next Russian freighter, Progress M-24M, is scheduled to lift off from the Baikonur space center on July 24.
The current crew working at the ISS comprises Russia’s Maxim Surayev, NASA’s Gregory Wiseman and European Space Agency’s astronaut Alexander Gerst.