Progress Supply Ship Re-docks to ISS After Abort

A Russian Progress supply ship has been successfully re-docked to the International Space Station after an initial re-docking failed. The ship has been at the station since April and it was undocked on July 22 to perform a series of engineering tests during re-docking to make sure an upgraded automated rendezvous system was working. However, the new Kurs rendezvous system, Kurs-NA, failed and the re-docking was aborted. After directing the ship to move to a safe distance away from the ISS, engineers assessed the problems, and then successfully completed the re-docking on July 28.

Complicating the decision of when to try the re-docking again was the arrival of the Japanese HTV-3 supply ship, which arrived on July 27. Russian engineers decided to wait until after the HTV was successfully berthed using the station’s Canadarm-2 before a second attempt with the Progress. All systems worked perfectly on the second try.

The Progress, which is loaded with trash and items no longer needed on the station, will undock for good on July 30 and will depart the vicinity of the station for several weeks of tests by ground controllers before being sent into a destructive reentry over the Pacific Ocean in late August.

Caption: A Progress resupply ship approaching the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

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