Sunday, April 7, 2019

Progress MS-11 Cargo Spacecraft Docks with Space Station Using Ultra-short Flight Scheme

Progress MS-11 resupply ship is pictured approaching the International Space Station's Pirs docking compartment. Credit: NASA

The Progress MS-11 resupply ship has docked to the International Space Station (ISS) after using an ultra-short flight scheme. The flight lasted slightly over 3 hours and 20 minutes, Russia’s Mission Control reported on Thursday.

"The Progress MS-11 space freighter docked with the orbital station in an automated mode at 5:22 p.m. Moscow time," the Flight Control Center said, specifying that the resupply ship had arrived at the Pirs docking module.

A Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket with a Progress MS-11 cargo spaceship blasted off from Site No. 31 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome at 2:01 p.m. Moscow time on Thursday. In nine minutes, the spacecraft detached from the carrier’s third stage in a normal regime and continued its autonomous flight to the orbital outpost.

The space freighter has delivered two tonnes of various cargoes to the space station, in particular, fuel, scientific equipment, foodstuffs and medicines.

The ultra-short flight scheme envisages a spacecraft’s two rotations around Earth. Before July 2018, Russia’s Progress spaceships blasted off to the ISS either under the two-day scheme (34 rotations around the planet) or it took them six hours to reach the space station (four rotations).

Russia used the ultra-short scheme of flight to the space station during the launch of a Progress MS-09 resupply ship, which successfully reached the orbital outpost on July 10, 2018 in slightly more than three hours and a half. The next spacecraft, the Progress MS-10, again flew to the ISS on November 16, 2018 using the old two-day scheme, as this was the first launch of a Soyuz-FG carrier rocket after the October 11, 2018 faulty liftoff.

Source: TASS

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