MOSCOW, October 29. /TASS/. Space freighter Progress M-25M has separated from the third stage of rocket Soyuz-2.1a and continued its autonomous flight to the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday. The cargo spacecraft is to dock with the ISS already in six hours at 4.09pm Moscow time (12.09 GMT).
“Progress M-25M has separated from the rocket at 10.18am Moscow time (6.18am GMT). The freighter’s flight is passing as scheduled, all onboard systems operate well,” Russian space agency Roscosmos told TASS.
Progress will deliver to the orbital station more than 2.5 tons of cargo, including fuel for ISS orbit adjustments, foodstuffs, drinking water and packed air for ISS crew, research equipment and devices for ISS operation.
This is the first launch of the space freighter by rocket Soyuz-2.1a, as cargo spacecraft were earlier brought to the ISS only by boosters Soyuz-U. This launch started flight tests of a space delivery system in a new makeup of space freighter Progress and rocket Soyuz-2.1a. This space program plans another three launches, including two in 2015 and one in 2016. After flight tests, launches of piloted spaceships Soyuz with spacemen on board will be also made by rocket Soyuz-2.1a. Now only rockets Soyuz-FG, a modification of launch vehicle Soyuz-U, deliver manned spaceships on the orbit.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has failed earlier in the day to deliver cargoes to the ISS after space freighter Cygnus launched from the Wallops Island launch facility, Virginia, at 9.23pm GMT on Tuesday (01.23am Moscow time on Wednesday) exploded together with Antares carrier rocket.