Progress 26P launches with supplies and new ISS computers

by Chris Bergin

A Russian Progress re-supply ship (M-61/26P) has launched on top of a Soyuz-U launch vehicle from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The ship is carrying over 5,000 pounds of supplies to the International Space Station (ISS), including replacement computer equipment, following the issues which arose with the German-made computers during STS-117.

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The launch follows the undocking from the Pirs docking compartment of the Progress 24P ship, which was filled with trash and other waste equipment, before being destroyed via a controlled deborbit on Wednesday.

‘After the Progress 24P separation, on TsUP/Moscow ‘Go-ahead’, the CDR was to switch the DC1-Nadir port PEV (Pressure Equalization Valve) to the Closed position,’ noted Wednesday’s On Orbit status report. The ‘go’ was given after a repress of the ISS cabin atmosphere from 24P stores emptied the 24P tanks

‘Progress 24P undocked successfully from the DC1 port at 10:07am EDT. To perform the separation burn (at 2:42pm Eastern), the crew had to intervene, turning on the TORU system to clear inhibiting parameters still remaining from the TORU checkout a week earlier.’

Progress 26P is carrying 600 pounds of propellant, more than 100 pounds of air and oxygen, more than 465 pounds of water and 2,954 pounds of dry cargo, including Russian computers, cables, connectors and a commanding unit.

The computer supplies will be used for a more permanent fix to the Russian computers which suffered failures during June. Some systems are currently working with the aid of jumper cables, ensuring they remained booted up for ISS operations.

The re-supply ship will dock with the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module, using the automated Kurs system. However, Expedition 15 Commander Fyodor Yurchikhin will be able to take over the docking operation via the manual TORU docking system controls if the automated system suffers a problem.

Meanwhile, Yurchikhin and Flight Engineer Oleg Kotov have successfully completed a standard 30-min Shuttle RPM (R-bar Pitch Maneuver) skill training exercise, head of the arrival of shuttle Endeavour on STS-118 next week.

The two Russian used their DCS-760 digital still cameras with 400 and 800mm lenses at SM windows 6 and 8 to take target imagery, which will be used for real during Endeavour’s arrival towards the ISS to allow technicians on the ground to checkover her belly and TPS (Thermal Protection System) for any damage.

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