ISS, June 1. /TASS/. The Progress MS-18 cargo spacecraft, which has thrice prevented the ISS’s collision with space debris, has separated from the Zvezda module. The deorbiting process is streamed on the website of Roscosmos corporation.
The Progress MS-18’s propulsion system will be turned on at 14:11 Moscow time for deorbiting. At 14:43 Moscow time, the spacecraft is expected to enter the dense layers of the atmosphere. At 14:51 Moscow time, fireproof elements will be dumped in the Pacific Ocean far away from busy shipping routes 2,700 kilometers from Wellington and 7,200 kilometers from Santiago.
The cargo spacecraft has vacated a docking port for the Progress MS-20 vehicle, to be launched and docked with the ISS on June 3. Progress MS-18 spacecraft’s engines were burned nine times to adjust the ISS orbit, including three times to avoid space debris.
Earlier, TASS special correspondent, Roscosmos cosmonaut Oleg Artemiev, reported that about 1.3 tonnes of debris and end-of-life equipment would be removed from the ISS along with Progress MS-18. The crew members had done their utmost to load the spacecraft to capacity, because the dumping of the next "truck" is due only after a long while. The Progress MS-19, launched in February, will be part of the station for twelve months.
Progress MS is a Russian automatic spacecraft, created especially for servicing orbital outposts. Its task is to deliver various cargoes (fuel, research equipment, oxygen, water and food) to the ISS, as well as to correct its orbit.