Russian space freighter to be buried in Pacific after 5-day scientific mission

Russia’s Progress M-09M cargo spacecraft will undock from the International Space Station (ISS) on Friday to be buried in the Pacific after conducting a five-day scientific mission, a Mission Control spokesman said.

The undocking is scheduled for 3:41pm Moscow time (11:41 GMT), the spokesman said. The spacecraft will remain in orbit well away from the station to conduct several scientific experiments before being deorbited on April 26.

During the flight, scientists will continue the Radar-Progress experiment, aimed at defining the density, sizes and reflectivity of the ionosphere environment around the spacecraft, which is caused by the operations of its liquid propellant engines.

The spacecraft will burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere as soon as the experiment is over. Its fragments will fall in remote areas of the Pacific Ocean.

Progress-series freighters have been the backbone of the Russian space cargo fleet for decades. In addition to their main mission as cargo spacecraft, they are used to adjust the ISS’s orbit and conduct scientific experiments.

The next Progress cargo craft will be launched from the Baikonur Space Center in Kazakhstan and dock with the ISS on April 27.


MOSCOW, April 22 (RIA Novosti)

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