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Home / Science / Soyuz capsule replaces docking ports on the space station, paving the way for newcomers – Spaceflight Now

Soyuz capsule replaces docking ports on the space station, paving the way for newcomers – Spaceflight Now



In this video, the Russian spacecraft Soyuz MS-13 is docked to the International Space Station's Poisk module after a manual flight around cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov. Credit: NASA TV / Spaceflight Now

The Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov flew by hand and unloaded his Soyuz spacecraft from the International Space Station late Sunday (US time) and maneuvered the ship to a new parking lot on the million-dollar Skvortsov Research Complex cleared the way for the arrival of a new Soyuz spacecraft on Monday night, after he had canceled his first approach to Zvezda module at 23:35 EDT Sunday (0335 GMT Monday). Crewmembers Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan, both from the European Space Agency and NASA, flanked the Russian cosmonaut commander on the left and right.

After retreating to a distance of 30 meters Skvortsov ordered a roll maneuver To turn the Soyuz solar modules, his spaceship flew from above the space station and aimed for a connection to a port in the Poisk docking compartment.

The Soyuz MS-13 spacecraft coupled with Poisk at 11:59 pm pm EDT (0359 GMT) to complete the 25-minute resettlement maneuver, the first such turnaround of Soyuz parking since 2015.

According to Russian engineers the automatic docking system on the Poisk module stops working. The unmanned Soyuz spacecraft MS-14 attempted to dock with the Poisk module on Saturday, but had to break off the rendezvous after it failed to reach its target from a distance of about 90 meters (300 feet).

Russian Soyuz and Progress spacecraft use course radar systems to feed range, closing rate, and other data on onboard computers that control automatic docking to the space station. The active component of the course rendezvous system flies on the spacecraft Soyuz and Progress, but a number of passive navigation aids are installed on the station's Russian docking stations.

Air traffic controllers in Korolev near Moscow believe the most likely cause of Saturday's aborted docking attempt was a faulty repeater in the passive course system of the Poisk module.

The spacecraft Soyuz MS-14 has no crew on board and no equipment with which cosmonauts in the space station can take over the remote control of the vehicle. Thus, automatic docking remains the only way for the Soyuz to connect to the station.

By manually docking Skvortsov with the Poisk module, the Svezda Aft Port, with a fully functional passive course system, will be released for the spacecraft Soyuz MS-14 to try a different automated approach.

Docking of the Soyuz Ferry MS-14 is scheduled for 23:12 EDT Monday (0312 GMT Tuesday).

The Soyuz spacecraft MS-14 launched on 21 August (US time) on a rare test flight of a Soyuz vehicle from the Cosmodrome Baikonur in Kazakhstan. Russian space agency Roscosmos approved the test flight to validate the compatibility of the Soyuz capsule with the new-generation Sojus-2.1a booster, which will replace the Russian Soyuz-FG rocket for launching the crew starting next March.

The launch phase of the mission went smoothly.

Other objectives of the Soyuz MS-14 test flight included the review of a new motion control system and improved reentry systems that could be used for a future non-piloted Soyuz commercial vehicle

According to NASA, the Soyuz MS-14 is about 658 kg Deliver freight and supplies to the space station.

The Russian Skybot F-850 robot, a bipedal The two-armed humanoid representative of a cosmonaut commander is strapped into the center seat of the Soyuz spacecraft MS-14.

The Skybot F-850 is not designed for the manipulation of flight controls during the Soyuz mission, but rather for sensors on the robot body to measure key p parameters – such as acceleration, vibration, temperature and humidity – during the flight, including takeoff, docking and landing.

Once the Soyuz docked at the station, Skvortsov plans to conduct experiments with the robot for several days. The robot should follow the commands and emulate the movements of its human operator.

Before docking was canceled on Saturday, the spacecraft Soyuz MS-14 should leave the station and return to Earth with the Skybot F850 robot on September 6. Officials have not confirmed whether the return of the Soyuz spacecraft after the delayed Docking would remain scheduled.

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Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @ StephenClark1 .


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