Progress launched to ISS
Posted: Wed, Nov 26, 2008, 6:45 PM ET (2345 GMT)
A new version of a Progress spacecraft was launched early Wednesday carrying supplies for the International Space Station. A Soyuz rocket carrying the Progress M-01M spacecraft (designated Progress 31 by NASA) lifted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Russia at 7:38 am ESt (1238 GMT), placing the spacecraft into low Earth orbit nine minutes later. Initially one antenna that is part of the Kurs automated docking system failed to deploy after launch, but the antenna apparently deployed later after commands were resent to the spacecraft. Without the antenna deployed the ISS crew would likely have to guide the spacecraft in for ducking instead of relying on the automated docking system. the Progress is scheduled to arrive at the ISS at 7:23 am EST (1223 GMT) Sunday. The spacecraft will take four days to arrive at the ISS, instead of the usual two, to allow flight controllers to check out new computer systems that set this version of the Progress apart from previous models.
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