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Failed transfer of engines’ operation data required manual Soyuz-ISS docking

December 21, 2015, 13:22 UTC+3 KOROLYOV

It was originally believed that a disruption in the normal operation of engines was the cause

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KOROLYOV, December 21. /TASS/. A source in the Russian space rocket industry has disclosed the reasons why the manned Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft had to be docked with the International Space Station (ISS). Whereas originally it was believed that a disruption in the normal operation of engines was the cause, now it has been confirmed that failure in transmitting data the engines’ performance data to the onboard computer was to blame.

"Detailed analysis of telemetry data has revealed that approach and attitude control engines were operating normally, but the data received by the onboard computer contained errors. This required manual docking," he said.

The Soyuz TMA-19M spacecraft, which blasted off from the Baikonur space site in Kazakhstan on December 15 approached and docked with the ISS later on the same day, six hours after launch. First the Soyuz approached the docking port using the close-up system Kurs several times only to move back. After that the crew had to employ manual docking. Russia’s Yuri Malenchenko is the crew’s commander.

A source in the space rocket industry first told TASS the Soyuz TMA-19M was docked with the ISS manually, because one of the engines close-up had failed to develop the required thrust. Earlier, another source blamed the disruption in the automatic docking system Kurs-A on an induced radio signal from the US cargo spacecraft Cygnus (docked with the ISS since December 9).

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