Progress MS-17 cargo craft docks with International Space Station
Two days after launching from Kazakhstan, Russia’s unpiloted Progress MS-17 spacecraft docked with the International Space Station.
Docking with the space-facing Poisk module took place autonomously at 8:59 p.m. EDT July 1 (00:59 UTC July 2), 2021, while over the South Pacific Ocean just off the coast of Chile.
Following leak checks, the hatch between the spacecraft and space station is expected to be opened and its cargo unloaded.
Progress MS-17 launched atop a Soyuz 2.1a rocket at 7:27 p.m. EDT (23:37 UTC) June 29 from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and was placed on a two-day, 34-orbit rendezvous profile.
Aboard is more than 3,600 pounds (1,600 kilograms) of supplies and consumables for the seven-person Expedition 65 crew.
It is scheduled to remain at the ISS until November. About a month before that, however, the spacecraft is expected to autonomously undock from Poisk and fly around to dock to the soon-to-be-launched Nauka module.
When it launches and arrives at the outpost, Nauka will be located at the same port at which Pirs is currently located. Pirs is expected to be removed by Progress MS-16 later this month, following a successful launch of Nauka.
As of right now, Nauka is expected to launch atop a Proton-M rocket no earlier than July 22, 2021. Pirs would likely be removed by Progress MS-16 a day or two after the new module achieves orbit. Nauka is expected to take a week to reach the ISS.
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.