MOSCOW, August 23 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian resupply spacecraft Progress is to undock from the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday and turn into a scientific laboratory for several days, an official at the Flight Control Center (FCC) outside Moscow has told Itar-Tass.
The FCC official said, “At 13:35, Moscow time, a comand will be issued for the spacecraft to undock from the station. Three minutes later, the Progress M-11M, carrying ISS waste, will depart from the ISS and begin an autonomous flight”. The resupply spacecraft has been part of the orbital complex for two months, the official recalled.
The spacecraft will not be sunk at once but will be brought to a safe distance from the ISS. For several days (until Sept 1) it will be used for a Radar-Progess experiment, the purpose of which is to determine spatial-and-time dependencies of density, temperature and ion composition of local non-uniformities of the ionosphere arising as a result of the operation of spacecraft propulsion plants.
The departing spacecraft will give room at the service module Zvezda (star) for next arrival — the Progress M-12M which is to bring about 2.5 tonnes of various supplies to the ISS on August 26. The launch of the spacecraft is scheduled for Aug 24.