Progress 22 launches for ISS – ATV update

by Chris Bergin

The Russian re-supply ship Progress 22 (M-57) has launched on top of a Soyuz-U launch vehicle from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kahazstan. Lift off occured at 11:08am EDT.

The unmanned ship will be carrying 2.5 tonnes of supplies to the outpost, and will arrive on June 26 – just a week ahead of the arrival of Shuttle Discovery on STS-121.


The Russian re-supply ship Progress 22 (M-57) is in the final stages of launch preparation for Saturday’s lift-off on top of a Soyuz-U launch vehicle from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kahazstan (11:08am EDT)

The unmanned ship will be carrying 2.5 tonnes of supplies to the outpost, just a week ahead of the arrival of Shuttle Discovery on STS-121.

Progress 22 will deliver propellant, air and oxygen, water and dry cargo for Expedition 13’s crew of Commander Pavel Vinogradov of Russia and NASA astronaut Jeff Williams.

While Progress 21, which arrived at the station April 23, remains at the aft docking port of the Zvezda service module, Progress 20 left the ISS on the 19th of June – deorbiting for disposal in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Progress 22 is set to arrive at the Pirs docking port on the Station on June 26. It will be unloaded after the depature of Shuttle Discovery – and used mainly for extra stowage pace.

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In prepation for Discovery, Williams checked out the station’s robotic arm, maneuvering it in position as Expedition 13 awaits the arrival of veteran orbiter. Williams will support shuttle crewmembers Lisa Nowak and Stephanie Wilson as they work with the station’s arm.

Discovery on mission STS-121 is scheduled for launch July 1 at 3:49 p.m. EDT delivering a third crewmember to the station – European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Reiter.

Williams and Vinogradov also configured headsets they will use to communicate as the shuttle performs a backflip, or R-bar pitch maneuver, when it approaches the station. The flight engineer also serviced American spacesuits on the station that will be used for spacewalks during the STS-121 mission.

Before Discovery, the station is looking forward to Progress 22’s 2400 kg of various cargoes, including food, water, fuel, clothes and equipment. The crew will also recieve fresh vegetables, fruit and parcels from their families. In addition, 22P delivers gifts for Vinogradov who will be celebrating his 53rd birthday on August 31.

US hardware requested to fly on 22P includes 40 US food containers, clothing items, 2 IMAKs (ISS Medical Accessory Kits), 2 TVIS harnesses, 2 advanced EMU batteries, 2 LCVGs Liquid Cooling & Ventilation Garments), 6 DST (Dual Sorbent Tube) assemblies and other water, surface & air sampling gear, new renal (kidney) stone experiment supplies, etc.

The Progress is a lifeline to the Station, especially whilst the Shuttle has been suffering major delays post Columbia. However, another automated cargo vehicle is soon to join Progress’ mission in keeping the ISS stocked up ahead of the projected increase in the crew size on board.

The European Space Agency (ESA) ATV (Automated Transfer Vehicle) is due to make its maiden flight next year, and preparations are on-going on the station for its arrival.

‘Vinogradov prepared the fourteenth batch of raw data (broadcast sync commands & message files) from the ongoing testing of the ASN-M satellite navigation system by TsUP, for subsequent downlink via U.S. OCA assets,’ noted the June 23 ISS On Orbit status report.’

‘The 28-day test period came to an end today, and the CDR closed down all data applications, deactivated the LT3 laptop and tore down the data gathering setup.

‘[ASN-M will be required for the arrival of the European ATV ‘Jules Verne’ next year. During the extensive checkout from ESA (European Space Agency)/Oberpfaffenhofen, special software on Laptop 3 (running the ‘Solaris’ Operating System) was used for onboard storage of test data and logs.

‘MCC-H had created a special subfolder for ASN data on the OCA file server to facilitate subsequent downlinking of the ASN-M output data, which was performed every other day throughout the 28-day test period for comparison with the uplinked data.

‘The objective of this test was to verify compliance of the ASN-M data with approved requirements and to update ESA’s ASN-M model.’

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