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Progress Cargo Craft Docks With Space Station

Submitted by Arthur N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468

Progress Cargo Craft Docks With Space Station

An unpiloted Russian cargo craft with more than two tons of supplies and 
equipment docked Saturday evening with the International Space Station.

The ISS Progress 18 spacecraft docked at 8:42 p.m. EDT to the aft port 
of the Stationís Zvezda Service Module. The docking was controlled by 
Station Commander Sergei Kirkalev using the Telerobotically Operated 
Rendezvous Unit (TORU). The automated Kurs docking system was not used 
because a problem with a Russian ground station prevented uplinking a 
command for Progress to begin the final approach. Krikalev was helped by 
NASA Science Officer John Phillips in the manual docking operation, 
which went flawlessly.

Progress 18 lifted off Thursday at 7:10 p.m. EDT from the Baikonur 
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It reached orbit in less than 10 minutes, and 
moments later, automatic commands successfully deployed its solar arrays 
and navigational antennas.

The ISS Progress 17 cargo ship, which had been at the Station since 
March 2, was undocked on Wednesday, clearing the aft port of Zvezda for 
the new Progress. Filled with trash and discarded items, Progress 17 was 
commanded to deorbit by Russian flight controllers. It re-entered the 
atmosphere and was incinerated about four hours after undocking.
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