Space Station Crew Prepares for Rendezvous

WASHINGTON, Sept. 7 (UPI) — After enjoying a three-day weekend, the crew of the International Space Station prepared for the arrival of a Russian resupply cargo craft, NASA said Tuesday.

The ISS Progress 39 cargo craft, loaded with 1,918 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen and air, 375 pounds of water, and 2,645 pounds of spare parts, logistical items and experiment hardware, is scheduled to launch Wednesday morning from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, the space agency said.


Controllers say the pilot-less Russian vehicle will dock automatically to the aft port of the station’s Zvezda service module Friday at 8:37 a.m. EDT.

The resupply vehicle that previously occupied Zvezda’s aft port was jettisoned Aug. 31 and allowed to burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere Monday after a week of thruster tests conducted by Russian flight controllers.

To prepare for the arrival of the new cargo craft, Cmdr. Alexander Skvortsov and Flight Engineer Mikhail Kornienko conducted a training session Tuesday with TORU, the remotely operated robotic Russian rendezvous system.

The crew can use TORU to monitor the docking of a Progress spacecraft with the station or take control of the process if difficulties arise, NASA said.

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