Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Watch live: Progress closing in on station

Blogger update, 7:05 a.m.: Station commnader Gennady Padalka has taken manual control of the Progress docking because of problems with the automated system.

An unmanned Russian cargo ship is closing in on the International Space Station for a 7:16 a.m. EDT docking.

The Progress 34 spacecraft launched Friday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The 2.5 tons of supplies it is hauling to the outpost include 1,830 pounds of propellant, 110 pounds of oxygen, 463 pounds of water and 2,718 pounds of spare parts and experiment equipment.

The automated Kurs docking system should guide the ship to a port on the back of the station's Zvezda Service Module.

By 6:52 a.m., the Progress was within 1,000 feet of the station and had completed five of six planned engine burns to complete its rendezvous, and all systems were operating properly.

Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, the Expedition 20 commander, and Roman Romanenko, a flight engineer, are communicating with flight controllers in the Russian Mission Control Center in Korolev, near Moscow.

The Progress is scheduled to begin its final approach at 7:07 a.m. EDT.

You can watch it live here - just click on the NASA TV still image in the right column of this page to launch a viewer.

No comments: