Monday, August 17, 2015

Spacecraft Shuffle at ISS

Progress 58 as it looked when docking on February 17.
On August 14, the crew of Expedition 44 began the process of rearranging the location of several Russian spacecraft docked to the station. The first step was to undock the Progress 58 cargo spacecraft from the Zvesda service module. The robotic craft had been emptied of its supplies and refilled with garbage and disposable materials. Three hours after backing away from the station, ground controllers in Moscow gave commands to start the de-orbit burn, aiming the spaceship for an atmospheric re-entry destruction over the Pacific Ocean.

Russian Progress 58 camera view while still docked at the end of the Zvesda module. In the lower left corner you can see another cargo ship, Progress 60, and though hidden you can make out the solar panels of the Soyuz TMA-16M crew spacecraft. Russian TV signals usually are overlayed with data as you see in this view.
With the departure of Progress 58 (Russian designation M-26M), the crew will next prepare for relocating the Soyuz TMA-16M spacecraft to the now open docking port at the end of Zvesda. The plan is to use that new open docking port for receiving the upcoming flight of a Soyuz with a crew transfer on September 2nd. In October, another Progress supply ship is scheduled, and will replace the Progress 60 craft docked to the station currently.
Greetings from the cosmonauts outside the ISS. I just wanted to include this excellent staged greeting by cosmonauts Genady Padalkin and Mikhail Kornienko taken during their EVA last Monday, August 10th. The spacewalk was the only Russian-planned trip outside the station for the year.

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