Russian cargo spacecraft undocks from the ISS

08:47, October 26, 2010      

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Russia's Progress M-05M space freighter filled with garbage on Monday has successfully undocked from the Pirs docking module of the International Space Station (ISS), said the Mission Control center outside Moscow.

The three-minute process was finished at around 06:24 p.m. Moscow time (1424 GMT), said Valery Lyndin, spokesman for the Mission Control.

The freighter will continue its autonomous space journey for three weeks, serving as an orbital laboratory where a geophysical experiment will be conducted, said the spokesman.

On Nov. 15, the spacecraft will plunge into a designated area in the Pacific after finishing the experiment.

The Progress M-05M space freighter carrying 2.5 tons of replenishment docked with the space station on May 1. However, the docking was conducted manually rather than automatically, by Russian cosmonaut Oleg Kotov at a distance of one kilometer. Experts explained it was caused by a failure of the freighter software.

As the long-enduring backbone of Russian space cargo fleet, the Progress freighters are also used to correct the ISS orbit and conduct scientific experiments.

The new generation of Progress vehicles is lighter in weight and equipped with a modern digital control system, which enables the spacecraft to dock with the ISS more accurately.

The next Russian space freighter Progress M-08M was scheduled to blast off from Kazakh Baikonur space center on Wednesday evening and docked with the Pirs module on Saturday night.

Source: Xinhua


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