article image

Russia delivers supplies to the ISS

Anatoly Zak, Spaceflight Correspondent
Feb 18, 2015, 1:24 UTC

Sen—A Russian cargo ship arrived at the International Space Station (ISS) Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2015, delivering supplies for six members of Expedition 42 onboard the outpost.

The Progress M-26M spacecraft docked at the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module at 16:59 GMT (19:59 Moscow Time, 11:59 EST), following a 5h 57m flight and five-orbit chase of the station.

The seven-ton freighter (dubbed 58P in the ISS flight manifest) blasted off on top of the Soyuz-U rocket at 14:00:17 Moscow Time (11:00 UTC, 6 a.m. EST) from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, and disappeared in the cloudy sky seconds later.

At the time, the ISS was flying over Southern Russia near the Mongolian border in a 398 by 421 km orbit. Nine minutes later, Progress separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle into a 192.7 by 246.3 km parking orbit.

To intercept the station, the cargo ship conducted two orbit correction maneuvers during its first revolution around the Earth, followed by two more engine firings during its second orbit. The maneuvers brought the Progress into the vicinity of the station, where its rendezvous system locked onto the station and guided the vehicle toward the final docking.

Russia's first cargo mission of the year, designated P58 in the ISS manifest, delivered a total of 2,370 kilograms of supplies, including 435 kilograms of propellant to refuel the Zvezda Service Module and 420 kilograms of water.

In its pressurized cargo compartment, Progress brought food, cloth and other items requested by individual crew-members, including fresh fruits, vegetables, and, this time, a traditional Russian delicatessen—the sturgeon caviar.

The ship also reportedly delivered presents for female members of the crew to mark the International Women's Day on Mar. 8. On the business side of the mission, the freighter carried a 120-kilogram electronics box to replace a similar failed gear, the part of the Kurs (Course) rendezvous system on the station.

It will take several hours of checks before the crew of the ISS can open the hatch into the cargo section of the freighter.