The Russian Progress M1 was launched Sunday afternoon and spent the last two days executing rendezvous burns that eventually placed it in close proximity to the station.
Over Russian communications stations, Progress used its automated KURS docking system to hone in on the aft docking port of the newly arrived Zvezda Service Module, enabling the linkup to occur on time as the two craft flew over Kazakhstan. At the time of docking, Progress approached Zvezda at a rate of about two-tenths of a meter per second. Shortly after contact between the two vehicles, hooks and latches began to engage, forming a tight seal between the two craft. The supply ship is carrying 1,356 pounds of supplies, including clothing, food, computers and other equipment that will be unloaded by seven astronauts and cosmonauts who will arrive at the ISS in September on the STS-106 mission aboard the Shuttle Atlantis. The Progress also carried a load of fuel which will be automatically transferred through propellent lines to refill the tanks on both the Zvezda and Zarya modules.
Atlantis is scheduled to be moved to its launch pad at the Kennedy Space Center late Sunday night in anticipation of a planned Sept. 8 launch. Once they arrive at the ISS, Atlantis’ crew members will begin the task of unpacking the Progress and a Spacehab module in the Shuttle’s cargo bay to set up shop for the arrival of the first permanent residents of the ISS in early November.
With the arrival of the Progress, the Station continues to rapidly expand, now measuring 143 feet in length and weighing 67 tons. The ISS can be viewed from the ground under proper lighting conditions. To see when the ISS is visible, check the human space flight website at: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/realdata/sightings/
For updates on all aspects of human space flight, visit: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov
The next Mission Control Center status report will be issued on Wednesday, August 16. For more information, call the Johnson Space Center Newsroom at 281/483-5111.
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