Russia's Progress M-08M cargo spacecraft was undocked from the International Space Station and will be sunk in a remote area of the southern Pacific Ocean later on Monday, a spokesman for the Russian Mission Control said.
"An order for the undocking was given at 3:40 Moscow time [0:40 GMT]. The space carrier was undocked from the Pirs module, where it has been since October 30, 2010," the spokesman said.
Progress-family freighters have been the backbone of the Russian space cargo fleet for decades. In addition to their main mission as cargo spacecraft, they are used to adjust the ISS's orbit and conduct scientific experiments.
The Progress M-08M will not be used for scientific experiments and will be sunk at the "spaceship cemetery" at 9:07 Moscow time (6:07 GMT), the spokesman said.
The so-called "spaceship cemetery," located not far from Christmas Island, is a designated area where many spacecraft, including the defunct Mir station, have been sunk.
MOSCOW, January 24 (RIA Novosti)
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.