Progress MS-15 cargo ship departs International Space Station
Russia’s Progress MS-15 cargo freighter has departed the International Space Station and performed a destructive reentry following its multi-month stay at the outpost.
The unpiloted cargo ship undocked from the ISS at 05:21 UTC Feb. 9, 2021, after about 201 days at the outpost. Several hours later, it performed a deorbit burn using its engine in the spacecraft’s service module.
As with most discarded cargo ships, the Russian spacecraft reentered Earth’s atmosphere and burned up over the South Pacific Ocean. Roscosmos said this occurred at about 09:13 UTC.
Progress MS-15 launched to the ISS July 23, 2020, atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket from Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan, with about 2,500 kilograms of cargo, fuel and oxygen. It docked with the Pirs module just two orbits later.
Roscosmos is set to launch another cargo ship, Progress MS-16, at 04:45 UTC Feb. 15 on a two-day trek to the outpost. It’s scheduled to dock to the Pirs module at 06:20 UTC Feb. 17.
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.