Russian cargo ship fails to redock with ISS
July 25, 2012
In the past year, Russia's space program has seen more failures than successes, and the failed docking of an unmanned cargo ship with the international space station (ISS) adds yet another mission to the list. The Russian resupply freighter, Progress M-15M, was initially able to dock with the ISS, but after undocking to test its new rendezvous system, Kurs-NA, the freighter was unable to reconnect with the space station, according to Xinhua.
"The test was proceeding normally until about the time that the new Kurs-NA rendezvous system was to be engaged," NASA officials said in a statement. "As commands were being issued to activate the Kurs system, a failure was announced, triggering a passive abort."
According to Space.com, a passive abort is in place to prevent damage to the space station in case of a problem. The procedure moved the malfunctioning spacecraft 1.8 miles away from the ISS. This failed docking attempt does not mean the Progress will give up entirely, and officials are considering having another go at the end of July. They will wait to make a second redocking pass until after the unmanned Japanese HTV-3 cargo ship docks with the ISS on July 27, Reuters reports.
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