September 17, 2008

Second Attempt to Dock Progress to Iss Will Take Place Wednesday Evening

KOROLYOV, Moscow region. Sept 17 (Interfax-AVN) - Russia's Progress M-65 cargo spacecraft, which has been flying for four days more than was planned, should dock with the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday evening.

The docking is slated for 10.43 p.m. Moscow time, a source with the Russian Mission Control Center told Interfax-AVN.

"Several hours later the ISS crew will open the hatch to the Progress and will begin unloading it," the source said.

Initially it was planned that the docking would take place at 1.01 a.m. Moscow time last Saturday, but less than a day before the date the docking was rescheduled at NASA's request for September 17.

NASA explained the move by the need to evacuate personnel of its Mission Control Center in Houston in the face of the approaching hurricane Ike.

Mark Bowman, deputy director of the NASA Human Space Flight Program in Russia, told Interfax-AVN that the Houston Mission Control Center was not seriously damaged by the recent hurricane and will begin working in the next few days; however, the U.S. segment of the station will be guided from a backup mission control center in Huntsville.

The Progress M-65 carries 2.5 tonnes of various goods: food, water and air tanks, fuel, scientific equipment for the station, as well as a new generation Orlan-MK space suit. This is the 30th Russia's cargo spacecraft launched to the ISS.

The Progress was launched by means of a Soyuz-U rocket from the Baikonur launch center at 11.50 a.m. Moscow time on September 11.

(c) 2008 Daily News Bulletin; Moscow - English. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.