Dear readers and followers,
Yesterday, the International Space Station (ISS) Progress 56 cargo craft rolled out on a railcar to the launch pad at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan for final preparations for liftoff. The Progress, loaded with about 2600 kg of food, fuel and supplies for the six-person Expedition 40 crew, will launch Today at 5:44 p.m. EDT (3:44 a.m. Thursday, Baikonur time) on a 4 orbit, and 6 hours fast track rendezvous to dock with the station’s Pirs docking compartment at 11:30 p.m.
Credit image: Roscosmos
Pirs was vacated late Monday with the undocking of the ISS Progress 55 cargo craft, which separated from the station at 5:44 p.m. Progress 55 is now a safe distance from the complex for a series of engineering tests prior to being sent to a destructive re-entry over the Pacific Ocean on July 31st.
At Kourou, French Guiana, technicians are completing tests on the attitude control system in the third stage of the Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket that will launch the European Space Agency’s fifth and final Automated Transfer Vehicle (ATV-5). Arianespace and ESA are working toward establishing a firm launch date, with launch likely to take place early next week. The ATV-5, named the “Georges Lemaitre” in honor of the Belgian physicist and astronomer, is slated to dock to Zvezda on August 12th.
Live NASA Television coverage of the Progress launch begins at 5:30 p.m. and returns at 11 p.m. for docking coverage.
You could follow the live video here on SpaceTravelfoundation's blog