Cargo Spacecraft to Retry Docking on Sunday

Cargo Spacecraft to Retry Docking on Sunday

The Russian space agency and NASA will make a second attempt to dock a Progress spacecraft with the International Space Station (ISS) on Sunday. The scheduled docking time is 12:10 pm EDT. The spacecraft, which NASA calls Progress 38 but is formally designated Progress M-06M, aborted its first attempt at docking on Friday.

NASA reports that Russian specialists determined that radio interference caused the Progress automated rendezvous system, Kurs, to abort the docking or “cancel dynamic operations.” The interference was between Kurs and a backup manual docking system aboard the space station designated TORU. The abort occured when the TORU television system was activated, as it usually is in case a manual docking is required. The report did not say why the two systems interfered this time, but stated that the Kurs system itself did not fail. Instead, it did what it should have done under the circumstances.

For the second attempt tomorrow, NASA says that the TORU system will not be activated.

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