MOSCOW, July 23. /TASS/. A Progress MS-15 space freighter with supplies for the International Space Station (ISS) separated from the upper stage of a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket and started its autonomous flight towards the orbital outpost, the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced in its live broadcast on Thursday.
The Progress MS-15 will approach the orbital outpost using an ultra-short scheme: the resupply ship is scheduled to dock to the Pirs module of the space station’s Russian segment after two orbits (in three hours and 21 minutes).
The Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket lifted off from Site 31 (the Vostok launch pad) of the Baikonur spaceport at 5:26 p.m. Moscow time. This is the second launch of the Russian freighter to the International Space Station in 2020 and Russia’s first summer launch this year.
The docking operation is expected to proceed in the automated mode under the control of specialists of Russia’s Flight Control Center from Earth and ISS cosmonauts Anatoly Ivanishin and Ivan Vagner from outer space.
The Progress MS-15 is due to deliver about 2.6 tonnes of supplies to the orbital outpost, including tanks with water and oxygen cylinders, fuel for the refueling system, kits for space experiments, sanitary and hygienic items, clothing, medicines and standard foot rations.
Roscosmos Chief Dmitry Rogozin earlier said that the possibility of postponing two space launches on July 23 and 30 over the pandemic was not considered. The Baikonur spaceport continued operating in the normal mode, despite tighter restrictions in the nearby town of the same name over the pandemic. The Roscosmos head personally attended the launch of the Progress MS-15 resupply ship at the Baikonur spaceport.