Russian Navy plans to modernize five big antisubmarine shipsMilitary & Defense January 19, 8:54
North Korea builds two road-mobile intercontinental ballistic missiles — YonhapWorld January 19, 8:50
US political advisor says Trump and Putin likely to start things off on different footingWorld January 19, 8:14
Russia urges UN SC against using Iran nuclear deal in new formatsRussian Politics & Diplomacy January 19, 5:47
WSJ: Ukraine’s president hopes to meet Trump in FebruaryWorld January 19, 2:27
Diplomat reveals US spy agencies' latest attempt to recruit Russian worker was last weekRussian Politics & Diplomacy January 18, 21:57
Austria’s president-elect says he is ready to maintain good relations with RussiaWorld January 18, 21:50
Putin briefs Merkel, Hollande on steps to implement Syrian ceasefireRussian Politics & Diplomacy January 18, 20:39
Putin, Merkel, Hollande agree to give fresh impetus to Normandy Four activitiesRussian Politics & Diplomacy January 18, 20:26
MOSCOW, November 30 (Itar-Tass) - The reasons why the last phase of docking the cargo spacecraft Progress M-21M to the international space station ISS had to be controlled manually will be clear early next week, Monday or Tuesday, the chief of the Russian segment of the ISS, Vladimir Solovyov, told Itar-Tass.
“The docking was normal by and large. At a distance of about 50 meters I asked Oleg Kotov to activate the remote control mode and dock the cargo craft manually,” Solovyov said. “The moment Progress contacted the ISS the Kurs-NA approach control system was turned off.”
“It is too early to say anything definite about the causes. A special trouble-shooting team will be formed. I believe that the causes will be clear on Monday or Tuesday,” he said.
“This time Progress M-21M docked with the ISS nearly five days after the launch. That was done on purpose to test the new approach control system,” Solovyov said.
Earlier, on November 27-28 Progress closed up with the ISS in a test mode. The manoeuvre was successful. No contact with the ISS was expected then.
The Progress spacecraft docked with the ISS at 02:30 Moscow time on Saturday. At first, the new approach control system Kurs-NA was used, but when the distance between the ISS and cargo spacecraft reduced to 50 meters, ISS commander was told to take over and perform the docking manually, using the remote control joystick, Mission Control said.
A reliable source has speculated that a glitch in the Kurs-NA system was possibly to blame.
For the first time the Kurs-NA system was tested in space in July 2012. The experiment was not impeccable. The Progress M-15M spacecraft equipped with the Kurs-NA was separated from the ISS, but the first attempt at automatic re-docking failed. At a distance of about fifteen kilometres from the ISS the cargo craft’s control system issued an accident risk warning, and the approach control system moved Progress 165 kilometres away from the ISS. Sensor glitches were blamed.
Kurs is the main approach control system installed on the Soyuz and Progress spacecraft. It has been in use since the 1990s. Its new version, Kurs-NA is much smaller, less power consuming and far more accurate.