Progress MS-06 docks with International Space Station
Pulling into port at 7:37 a.m. EDT (11:37 GMT) on June 16, 2017, the autonomous Russian Progress MS-06 cargo spacecraft glided in for a docking at the aft port of the International Space Station’s Zvezda service module.
The two vehicles were traveling some 250 miles (400 kilometers) over the Philippine Sea at the time of docking. Progress MS-06 is carrying about 3,000 pounds (1,400 kilograms) of pressurized cargo as well as 1,940 pounds (880 kilograms) of fuel for station propulsion, 926 pounds (420 kilograms) of water, and 140 pounds (47 kilograms) of oxygen for the crew.
“Thank you very much for a reliable vehicle,” Expedition 52 Commander Fyodor Yurchikin radioed down to Mission Control in Moscow.
After the initial “soft dock”, the probe at the front of the Progress retracted to bring the two vehicles firmly together to allow for docking hooks to close. This created a firm attachment between the cargo freighter and the space station.
The three-person Expedition 52 crew will open the hatch between the station and cargo ship later in the day, after several hours of leak checks are performed.
Progress MS-06 lifted off two days ago from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It was launched atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket.
After a two-day trek, the spacecraft rendezvoused with the outpost to begin its six-month mission attached to the 400-metric-ton complex. It will remain at its current location until early December. Then it will undock with several tons of unneeded equipment and trash and, several hours later, de-orbit and burn up in the atmosphere over the south Pacific Ocean.
Video courtesy of SciNews
Derek Richardson has a degree in mass media, with an emphasis in contemporary journalism, from Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. While at Washburn, he was the managing editor of the student run newspaper, the Washburn Review. He also has a website about human spaceflight called Orbital Velocity. You can find him on twitter @TheSpaceWriter.