Russian Space Freighter Heads to ISS Despite Antenna Glitch

MOSCOW, April 24 (RIA Novosti) – The unmanned Russian Progress-M19M cargo spacecraft is continuing its journey to the International Space Station (ISS) despite its failure to deploy one of its navigation antennas, Russia’s Mission Control said on Wednesday.

“Our main goal is to ensure that the spacecraft arrives at the orbital station,” a Mission Control spokesman said.

“We have failed so far to deploy the antenna [after two attempts], but we consider this a secondary issue at this point,” the official said.

The Progress M-19M freighter was launched earlier today from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.

Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos reported a failure to deploy an antenna of the Kurs navigation system responsible for guiding the spacecraft to the docking module on the ISS shortly after the freighter reached the desired orbit.

The Progress-M19M is expected to reach the orbital outpost on April 26, making dozens of revolutions around the Earth before arriving at the ISS.

Russian space experts will continue to analyze the situation and attempt to fix the antenna glitch every 90 minutes, the spokesman said, adding that if continuing attempts are unsuccessful, the craft can dock automatically.

The Progress is on a resupply mission to deliver over 2.5 tons of cargo to the ISS, including payloads for the crew’s work and fuel for the space station, as well as food supplies, water and oxygen for the crew.


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