Russian cargo vehicle Progress M-21M successfully carried out ISS rendezvous maneuver testing a new “Kurs-NA” docking system. After this maneuver the spaceship retreated to a safe distance from the ISS (less than 100 km) in order to dock with the station on Saturday (November 30), – Mission Control Centre representative reported.
Up to now Progress space vehicles used “Kurs” system, new modernized “Kurs-NA” system will have new hardware components.
Progress thrusters operated nominally, the spacecraft successfully carried out ISS rendezvous maneuver. Both “Kurs-NA systems” active one installed on Progress and passive one of Zvezda service module worked nominally. After rendezvous the spacecraft retreated to 100 km distance away from the ISS to dock with it on Saturday, November 30, 2013”, – MCC spokesman stated.
RSC Energia representative (the enterprise developing “Progress” space vehicle and both “Kurs” and “Kurs-NA” systems) reported earlier that “Kurs-NA” system had been already tested by Progress M-15M in July 2012. “That time we tested it in telemetry mode that means the old “Kurs” system was installed on the spacecraft while the new one (“Kurs-NA”) showed telemetry data only. Now the new system is installed on the spacecraft and the ISS and it was tested for the first time not in telemetry but in nominal mode, – the spokesman explained.
According to him after “Kurs-NA” system testing by Progress M-21M all future Russian cargo vehicles will use the new system. The docking is scheduled for November 30, 02.28 Moscow time. The spacecraft will dock with Zvezda service module.
Image credit – Roscosmos