On Feb. fifteen, an uncrewed Russian spacecraft will supply almost 3 metric tons of supplies, fuel and oxygen to the International Space Station.
Following two days in orbit subsequent a Feb. thirteen start, the Progress spacecraft will start its careful method to ISS. Equally spacecraft are moving at far more than twenty five moments the pace of sound as they orbit the earth, and Progress will approach in levels to guarantee the safety of the 6 astronauts presently onboard.
You can look at the maneuver with NASA’s narration on the livestream below, starting at 5am ET:
Progress is an previous hand in the area robotic sport. Some edition of the automated re-supply craft has flown because 1978, and has uncovered some challenging classes: A 1997 collision amongst a Development spacecraft and the Mir area station resulted in one particular of Mir’s habitats getting completely shuttered. In 2015, a malfunctioning Progress spacecraft spun out of handle and ultimately burned up in the ambiance without having completing its mission:
Nonetheless, some 70 Progress missions have been launched to ISS, and none have harmed the station only a few have failed to produce their cargo.
The Progress is distinctive in its capability to deliver propellant to the ISS in an onboard tank and hearth its engines to carry the area station to higher altitude. The 430 ton (390 metric ton) ISS orbits about 250 miles earlier mentioned the earth, the place there is still enough environment existing to progressively drag it back to earth if it is not boosted back up. ISS also employs its very own engines to keep away from area particles and at times to re-orient alone.
The ISS is operated by an intercontinental consortium such as the United States, Russia, the European Union and Japan, and needs recurrent re-supply missions. Roscosmos, Russia’s area agency, operates the Soyuz rockets and spacecraft that ferry humans to the orbiting lab, as well as launching Progress spacecraft on uncrewed provide missions. In the US, NASA is shifting ISS functions more than to personal organizations: SpaceX and OrbitalATK presently fly cargo missions, while SpaceX and Boeing are vying to fly human beings there next calendar year. Japan also operates an automated cargo vehicle on yearly missions to ISS.
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