Progress Departs ISS, New Cargo Ships Await Launch

By  //  April 8, 2014

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Ocular Health study also being conducted

ABOVE VIDEO: The Russian ISS Progress 54 cargo ship, that delivered 2 1/2 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the residents of the International Space Station in February, departed the Pirs Docking Compartment April 7, undocking from the complex to move to a safe distance away for a series of engineering tests by Russian flight controllers. 

SEE RELATED STORY: SpaceX Cargo Launch to Station Set For April 14

NASA.gov — A Russian space freighter filled with trash departed the International Space Station on time Monday at 9:58 a.m. EDT. The ISS Progress 54 will orbit Earth 11 days for engineering tests before finally deorbiting over the Pacific Ocean for a fiery disposal.

A Progress resupply craft approaches the International Space Station February 11, 2013. (NASA.gov image)

A Progress resupply craft approaches the International Space Station February 11, 2013. (NASA.gov image)

A new space delivery awaits its launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan inside the ISS Progress 55 spacecraft. Liftoff is scheduled for 11:26 a.m. Wednesday with a docking to the station’s Pirs docking compartment just six- hours, or four orbits, later. The Russian resupply ship is delivering nearly 3 tons of food, fuel and supplies.

The second SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft was captured by the Canadarm2 March 3, 2013. (NASA.gov image)

The second SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft was captured by the Canadarm2 March 3, 2013. (NASA.gov image)

As a standard precaution, cosmonauts Alexander Skvortsov and Mikhail Tyurin were practicing techniques to manually dock the 55P in the unlikely event the cargo craft loses its automated rendezvous capability. The duo were inside the Zvezda service module practicing on the telerobotically operated rendezvous system, or TORU.

Commander Koichi Wakata and Flight Engineer Steve Swanson partnered up before lunch time to prepare for another resupply ship due to launch April 14. The pair of astronauts reviewed rendezvous and berthing procedures they will use when the SpaceX Dragon commercial cargo craft arrives for its capture by the station’s robotic arm, Canadarm2.

Wakata and Swanson also participated in the Ocular Health study which observes the effects of long-term microgravity on eyesight.


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