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Space

Decision Time for Progress Cargo Vessel Before Complete Radio Contact Lost

Sputnik News

15:16 28.04.2015(updated 15:45 28.04.2015)

A decision on the different variants of the Progress cargo vessel docking with the International Space Station (ISS) needs to be made by late Tuesday afternoon, according to a source in the space rocket industry.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – A decision on the different variants of the Progress cargo vessel docking with the International Space Station (ISS) needs to be made by late Tuesday afternoon before the vessel loses complete contact by Russian radio systems, a source in the space rocket industry told RIA Novosti.

"After the Progress [cargo vessel] makes its fifth Earth orbit, in accordance with its trajectory, it will leave the radio contact zone with Russian ground systems, so a decision by specialists in regard to the flight program to the ISS must be developed before 5:00 p.m. Moscow time [14:00 GMT]," the source said.

Ground systems at Mission Control outside Moscow have so far been unable to receive the ship's telemetry, though they do see the actual vessel as it passes through the contact zone.

The Progress cargo vessel has so far crossed the contact zone during two Earth orbits since its launch with no results.

At 10:10 a.m. Moscow time (07:10 GMT) a Soyuz-2.1a carrier rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan with 2.5 tons of cargo for the ISS.

Afterwards the Progress cargo vessel's telemetry was unable to be received in full and Mission Control decided to use a 48-hour docking regime. The ship was originally scheduled to dock with the ISS later on Tuesday at 4:07 p.m. Moscow time (13:07 GMT).

The Progress cargo vessel is carrying fuel, oxygen, food and scientific equipment for the crew working at the ISS.

The current ISS crew comprises Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov, Mikhail Kornienko and Gennady Padalka, US astronauts Terry Virts and Scott Kelly, and European Space Agency's astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti.

Sputnik



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