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"Progress" docking time with ISS remains unchanged despite problem aerial

April 25, 2013, 14:46 UTC+3

Roscosmos regards the problem with the aerial which failed to open on board the Progress transport spaceship as" a working problem," rather than an emergency

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MOSCOW, April 25 (Itar-Tass) – The Progress transport spaceship ship which was launched from Baikonur cosmodrome on Wednesday will dock with the ISS regardless of problems with one of the aerials on board the spaceship which failed to open, a Roscomos source told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

The schedule of the supply ship docking with the ISS remains unchanged, it said. "We expect the supply ship to dock with the ISS in an automatic regime; the docking will surely take place, it has not been called into question," Roscosmos assured.

It regards the problem with the aerial which failed to open on board the Progress transport spaceship as" a working problem," rather than an emergency. "It is not the only aerial on board. Even if fails to open the spaceship can dock with the ISS despite that. It is not the problem which could have affected the operation of the transport spaceship or the ISS," the Roscosmos source said.

The current task given to experts is to find out the causes why the aerial failed to open so as to prevent such incidents during space launchings in future. The "reanimation" of the aerial requires a scrupulous analysis and precise calculations, the Roscomos source said.

At present, all the systems on board, except the problem aerial, are quite reliable and have been operating normally, Roscosmos said.

"The space crew will not be devoid of food," a source from Energia Corporation assured. There is always a sufficient supply of foodstuffs and drinking water on board which will not run out till another supply ship docks with the ISS, it said. "No such need will arise, because the fight of the Progress M-19M supply ship to the ISS continues according to schedule," it said.

On Thursday more attempts will be made to open one of the aerials of the "Kurs" system which ensures docking of the spaceship with the ISS. Two previous attempts to open the aerial made on Wednesday failed. One of the aerials on board the transport spaceship which was launched from Baikonur on April 24 failed to open. At present, the spaceship has been heading for the ISS according to a standard two-day pattern. The spaceship is to make several turns round the Earth before it docks with the ISS.

The ship is scheduled to dock with the ISS at about 16:26 Moscow time on Friday, April 26. The ship is flying to the ISS by the standard two-day pattern, not a new six-hour one. A few previous supply ships, including Progress M-16M launched in August 2012, Progress M -17M launched in October 2012 and Progress M-18M launched in February 2013 reached the ISS within six hours.

The Soyuz carrier rocket with the transport ship abroad blasted off from Baikonur at 14:12 Moscow time. The ship is carrying more than 2.5 tones of cargoes for the station and its crew, including fuel and equipment for the station, a supply of oxygen and water, clothes and food.

The transport ship will also deliver parcels from the families, fresh vegetables and fruits, candies and other sweets.

The ISS resident crew consists of Pavel Vinogradov, Alexander Misurkin and Roman Romanenko of Russia, Christopher Cassidy and Thomas Marshburn of NASA, and Chris Hadfield of Canada.


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