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Testing a New Progress Rendezvous System

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Space Station Live: Testing a New Progress Rendezvous System

Public Affairs Officer Rob Navias interviews Tom Erkenswick, Visiting Vehicle Officer, about Russia's Progess 53 resupply craft and its new Kurs automated rendezvous system. The Progress 53 will take a longer route to the International Space Station so mission controllers can test the updated Kurs which will save fuel and take up less mass inside the spacecraft.

The Progress 53 launched Monday and will "flyby" the station Wednesday allowing Russian mission controllers to test the new Kurs system. They will review the telemetry downlinked from Progress on Thursday before giving the final go for its docking on Friday.

Read more about the launch...

Credit: NASA

Source: NASA - Multimedia

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Russian Cargo Craft Approaches Station for Test

While the Expedition 38 crew of the International Space Station tackled a variety of biological research and maintenance activities Wednesday, an unpiloted Russian cargo craft approached the complex for a “flyby” to test upgraded rendezvous equipment.

The ISS Progress 53 resupply vehicle, which launched Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, made its closest approach at 4:53 p.m. EST during a “flyby” to test upgraded Kurs automated rendezvous equipment. The Progress flew to within a mile of the complex, providing Russian flight controllers with valuable data on the revamped Kurs system that will be integrated into advanced Progress and piloted Soyuz vehicles in the future. During the “flyby,” Commander Oleg Kotov monitored the Kurs data from a laptop computer aboard the complex

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