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ISS Progress 26 to Launch Thursday


The ISS Progress 26 (P26) craft is scheduled to launch Thursday from the 
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at about 1:33 p.m EDT(1733 UTC). The 
P26 vehicle rolled to its launch pad Tuesday loaded with 5,111 pounds of 
food, fuel, air, water and supplies.

The cargo craft also contains new Russian computers, cables, connectors 
and a commanding unit. The commanding unit will replace an identical 
unit on the station when the upcoming STS-118 mission visits. The unit 
is suspected of causing the computer failure during the STS-117 mission 
in June. P26 is scheduled to dock with the station on Aug. 5.

Wednesday’s undocking of the ISS Progress 24 (P24) was successfully 
completed at 10:07 a.m. Configuration issues resulted in the Progress 
not doing the separation burn, but the deorbit burn occurred on time. 
P24 was about four miles from the station when the deorbit burn began a 
little after 2:40 p.m., sending the Progress and its load of trash to 
destruction in the Earth's atmosphere.

On the station, Flight Engineers Oleg Kotov and Clay Anderson took turns 
doing robotics proficiency training with ground controllers Wednesday in 
preparation for the STS-118 mission.

Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin and Kotov practiced rendezvous pitch 
maneuver (RPM) photography. They used digital cameras with 400mm and 
800mm lenses to mimic their work during Endeavour's approach to the 
station on the STS-118 mission. The RPM is a 360-degree back flip by the 
shuttle, which is done so images of its heat shield may be taken.

+ Read more about the ISS Progress 26 Launch 
+ Read more about Expedition 15 
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