Progress M-27M -- was launched April 28 from Area 31 of the Baikonur launch site. Credit: OAO RSC Energia

Progress M-27M — was launched April 28 from Area 31 of the Baikonur launch site.
Credit: OAO RSC Energia

 

Word is that Russian ground controllers have had “no joy” in attempting to establish control of the tumbling Russian Progress 59 supply ship.

The logistics spacecraft — Progress M-27M — was launched April 28 from Area 31 of the Baikonur launch site at 10:09:50 Moscow Time.

Progress M-27M being readied for launch. Credit: OAO RSC Energia

Progress M-27M being readied for launch.
Credit: OAO RSC Energia

 

 

The spacecraft was to use a “quick” 4-orbit flight profile of 6 hours duration to rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS).

After launch, however, the Progress suffered a control problem, with this onboard video showing the spin-rate of the spacecraft.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMiNjHjpunU

No word as yet on any solid prediction of a possible reentry of the Progress – if indeed the craft remains out-of-control.

There are reports of dozens of pieces of spacecraft debris associated with the Progress now in orbit – a meaningful suggestion that adds to the view the spacecraft is surely headed for an early, destructive reentry – negating its intended mission.

Onboard supplies

According to OAO RSC Energia, onboard the supply craft are propellant components, compressed oxygen, additional equipment needed to maintain the station in good working order, equipment for science experiments, medical supplies, personal belongings and food for the crew.

Altogether, more than 5,200 pounds (2,359 kg) of cargo is inside the Progress, including 3,075 pounds (1,395 kg) of dry cargo, 1,089 pounds (494 kg) of propellant, 925 pounds (420 kg) of water and 110 pounds (50 kg) of compressed gases.

The logistics spacecraft of the new series — Progress M-M — developed and built by RSC Energia is an upgraded version of the Progress M spacecraft.

OAO RSC Energia notes that the Progress is equipped with new devices for the motion control and navigation system and an improved onboard measurement system. All the devices are built around state-of-the-art electronic components and run the latest software. The upgrade made it possible to reduce the mass of the onboard equipment and thus enhance the capability to deliver payload to orbit.

Here is a video of the Progress launch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYy19APPj_c#t=19

 

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