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Russian Cargo Craft Departs Space Station

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Russian Cargo Craft Departs

An unpiloted Russian Progress cargo ship departed the International Space Station early Monday, clearing the way for the arrival of the next Russian space freighter. The ISS Progress 49 resupply ship undocked from the rear port of the station’s Zvezda service module at 8:02 a.m. EDT after more than five months at the orbiting complex. At the time of undocking the station was flying 257 statute miles over northern China.

From a window in the Russian segment of the station, Russian crew members photographed the automated departure as the cargo craft fired its thrusters to move a safe distance away from the complex. After several days of thruster firings to help calibrate Russian radar systems on the ground, Progress 49 will re-enter Earth's atmosphere on Sunday, April 21 and will burn up over the Pacific Ocean. Progress resupply ships are not designed to be recovered, so, like its predecessors, Progress 49 was filled with trash and station discards after its cargo was unloaded.

Progress 49 delivered nearly three tons of supplies for the station crew when it docked to the station a little less than six hours after launch on Oct. 31. This was the second of three Progress launches in a row that used an abbreviated launch-to-rendezvous schedule instead of following the typical two-day flight profile to reach the station.

Progress 49's departure clears the way for the arrival of the ISS Progress 51 cargo craft. Loaded with more than 3 tons of food, fuel, supplies and experiment hardware for the six crew members aboard the orbital laboratory, Progress 51 is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at 6:12 a.m. (4:12 p.m. Kazakh time) Wednesday, April 24, and dock to the station two days later.

› Read more about Expedition 35


Edited by Waspie_Dwarf
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"Waste Away" in Departed Space Station Freighter

An unpiloted Russian resupply vehicle undocked from the International Space Station April 15 after spending five months attached to it. After delivering 2 ½ tons of food, fuel and supplies for the station crewmembers, the International Space Station Progress 49 vehicle separated from the station and fired thrusters to back away to a safe distance for a series of engine firings to gather engineering data for Russian ground controllers. Now loaded with trash, the Progress is scheduled to be deorbited on April 21 to burn up in the Earth's atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean.

Source: NASAtelevision - YouTube Channel

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