Topic: International Space Station
MOSCOW, April 19 (RIA Novosti)
- Space Station Orbit Readjusted for Progress Docking
- Russia Launches Progress Freighter to Space Station
The Progress M-14M cargo spacecraft will undock from the ISS on Thursday and will conduct a series of tests before being buried in the Pacific, a Mission Control source said.
“The spacecraft is to undock from the Pirs docking module of the Russian ISS segment at 15:04 Moscow time [11:04 GMT],” the source said. “After a series of experiments in physics it will be de-orbited and sunk in a non-navigational area in the Pacific Ocean.”
The space freighter will conduct the nine-day Radar-Progress experiment, aimed at defining the physical characteristics of the ionosphere environment around the spacecraft, caused by the operations of its liquid propellant engines
With a record of more than 130 launches since 1972 and only one failure, Progress-family freighters remain the backbone of the Russian space cargo fleet. In addition to their main mission as cargo spacecraft, they are used to adjust the ISS's orbit and conduct scientific experiments.
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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.