Progress cargo ship fails to dock to ISS

AFP Photo / Ho / NASA
Russian cargo ship Progress M-15M has failed to dock to the ISS on Tuesday night as a precaution due to a system warning on approach. The docking has been postponed indefinitely.

The launch control center reports that as the ship was approaching the ISS its automatic systems indicated an emergency situation and the space docking system automatically decided to abort docking. The distance between the ISS and Progress ship at that moment was 161 kilometers.

Russia’s Roscosmos space agency has announced that another attempt to dock Progress cargo ship to the ISS will be made after another cargo ship – from Japan – is docked to the station.

Japan’s robotic spacecraft called H-2 Transfer Vehicle-3 (HTV-3) was launched to the ISS on July 20. It is expected to dock the ISS on July 27.

Specialists of the Russian space agency are now considering docking performance recommendations and controlling the flight of the spacecraft.

At this stage the unmanned cargo spacecraft is orbiting Earth at 408.1 kilometers. The distance between the station and the spaceship is 484 kilometers.

The next attempt to dock Progress could be made on July 28, given that the spaceship still has enough fuel to perform rendezvous maneuvers.

The Progress M-15M cargo ship undocked from the ISS on July 23 to perform tests of the “Kurs” rendezvous and docking system.

It was expected to be finally undocked from the ISS on July 30 to make a series of scientific experiments in orbit that would last three weeks before the ship was supposed to be de-orbited and sunk in the “spaceship cemetery” of the Pacific Ocean.