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Crew Readies for New Cargo Ship

After completing 20 weeks in space, the Expedition 11 crewmembers are 
preparing for a new Russian Progress cargo ship to launch and dock with 
the International Space Station. The Station crew also prepared new 
laptop computers for a software upgrade later this month.

An old Progress cargo ship filled with trash and unneeded items will 
undock from the Station Sept. 7 at 6:23 p.m. EDT to make room for the 
new Progress which will dock Sept. 10 at 10:50 a.m. EDT. The new 
Progress will carry food, water, fuel, clothing and other supplies. A 
new liquids unit for an oxygen-generator and spare parts for a carbon 
dioxide remover will be among the 2 1/2 tons of gear launched aboard the 
supply ship.

Aside from preparing laptop computers for a software upgrade, Station 
Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer John Phillips practiced 
emergency procedures and checked out medical equipment.

Progress Bringing Food, Water, Parts, Oxygen to Station


The 19th unpiloted Progress cargo craft to dock at the International 
Space Station will be a breath of fresh air, in several senses.

Among the cargo carrier's more than 2.6 tons of cargo is a new liquids 
unit for the Russian Elektron oxygen generator. The unit has been out of 
operation since late May.

Sergei KrikalevImage to left: Commander Sergei K. Krikalev holds the 
dismantled probe-and-cone docking mechanism from the Progress 18 
spacecraft inside the Zvezda Service Module. Credit: NASA

The crew has relied on Solid Fuel Oxygen Generator (SFOG) "candles" and 
oxygen from Progress and Station tanks to replenish the orbiting 
laboratory's atmosphere. The Elektron uses water as a raw material, 
dividing it into hydrogen, which is vented overboard, and oxygen.

Progress 19, scheduled to launch on Sept. 8 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome 
in Kazakhstan, has been fitted with 14 extra tanks. They enable it to 
carry an additional 132 pounds of oxygen and air, for a total of just 
over 242 pounds. Also aboard are 16 new SFOGs.

Total P19 cargo weight is just over 5,175 pounds. That includes 1,760 
pounds of propellant for attitude control thrusters, more than 52 
gallons of water and about 2,700 pounds of dry cargo.

That dry cargo consists of equipment and supplies, experiment hardware, 
spare parts for the Russian Vozdukh carbon dioxide removal system and 
food. That food is one reason a Progress arrival is a happy occasion, 
despite the hard work involved in unloading and stowing cargo items.

Fresh food is especially welcome after months in orbit.

The Progress is similar in appearance and some design elements to the 
Soyuz spacecraft, which brings three crewmembers to the Station, serves 
as a lifeboat while they are there and returns them to Earth. The aft 
module, the instrumentation and propulsion module, is nearly identical.

But the second of the three Progress sections is a refueling module, and 
the third, uppermost as the Progress sits on the launch pad, is a cargo 
module. On the Soyuz, the descent module, where the crew is seated on 
launch and which returns them to Earth, is the middle module and the 
third is called the orbital module.

The undocking of the previous Progress cargo ship begins the sequence of 
events replacing the old cargo craft with the new. The Progress craft 
being replaced is typically undocked the day before launch of the new 
cargo capsule, and later commanded to deorbit by Russian flight 
controllers, clearing the aft port of Zvezda for the new Progress. 
Filled with trash and discarded items, the departing Progress burns up 
in the Earth’s atmosphere soon afterward.
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