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Russia to launch resupply ship to orbital outpost using ultra-short scheme for first time

July 02, 2018, 17:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The flight’s ultra-short scheme implies that the spacecraft will make two revolutions around the Earth

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© Sergei Sevostyanov/TASS

MOSCOW, July 2. /TASS/. The Russian Progress MS-09 resupply ship is planned to be launched to the International Space Station (ISS) using the ultra-short two-revolution scheme for the first time to reach the orbital outpost in less than four hours, the Central Research Institute of Machine-Building (TsNIImash) said on Monday.

TsNIImash is the head institute of Russia’s State Space Corporation Roscosmos.

A TASS source earlier said that the next attempt to test the flight’s two-rotation scheme might be taken on July 10 during the launch of the Progress MS-09.

"According to the preliminary calculations of the Ballistic and Navigation Provision Service of the Flight Control Center [part of TsNIImash], the launch of the Progress MS-09 resupply ship is scheduled for 00:52 a.m. Moscow time on July 10. The spacecraft is set to dock with the ISS at 04:39 a.m. Moscow time on July 10, TsNIImash said

The flight’s ultra-short scheme implies that the spacecraft will make two revolutions around the Earth. Previously, Progress space vehicles used either the two-day scheme (34 revolutions around the planet) to get to the orbital outpost or flew to the space station within six hours (four revolutions).

Russia earlier planned to launch a Progress MS-07 resupply ship on October 12, 2017, using a short two-revolution scheme for the first time. However, the automatic system of the Baikonur launch pad cancelled the launch and the spacecraft flew to the ISS on October 14 using the traditional two-day scheme.

The same situation emerged during the launch of the Progress MS-08 spacecraft: initially, the space vehicle was planned to be launched into outer space on February 11, 2018 but several seconds before the launch, the automatic system cancelled the liftoff. As a result, the spacecraft blasted off on February 13 and docked to the ISS on February 15.

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