Russian cargo craft bids adieu to Space Station


MOSCOW (BNS): Russian unpiloted spacecraft Progress 29, filled with trash and unneeded items, undocked from the Earth-facing port of the Zarya module at 3:47 p.m. EDT Monday and was placed in a parking orbit prior to its planned deorbit September 8.

Progress 29’s departure clears the port for the October 14 arrival of the Soyuz TMA-13 spacecraft carrying the Expedition 18 crew, Commander Mike Fincke and Flight Engineer Yury Lonchakov, and Spaceflight Participant Richard Garriott.

The next unpiloted cargo craft, Progress 30, is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan September 10. It is scheduled to dock at the aft port of Zvezda on Sept. 12. A new Progress cargo carrier docked to the Earth-facing port of the International Space Station's Zarya module at 5:39 p.m. EDT Friday with more than 2.3 tons of fuel, oxygen, air, water, propellant and other supplies and equipment aboard.

The Progress is similar in appearance and some design elements to the Soyuz spacecraft, which brings crew members to the station, serves as a lifeboat while they are there and returns them to Earth. The aft module, the instrumentation and propulsion module, is nearly identical.

But the second of the three Progress sections is a refueling module, and the third, uppermost as the Progress sits on the launch pad, is a cargo module. On the Soyuz, the descent module, where the crew is seated on launch and which returns them to Earth, is the middle module and the third is called the orbital module.

With a total cargo weight of 4,657 pounds, 29th Progress brought to the orbiting laboratory more than 770 pounds of propellant, more than 100 pounds of oxygen and air, about 925 pounds of water and 2,850 pounds of dry cargo, May 14 last year.

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