MOSCOW, April 26 (RIA Novosti) – The Progress M-19M space freighter on Friday will perform a nominal automated approach to the International Space Station (ISS) despite the failure to deploy one of its navigation antennas, the head of the Russian space corporation RKK Energia, Vitaly Lopota, said.
The docking of the Progress spacecraft with the Zvezda module on ISS is set for 04.26 pm Moscow time (12:26 GMT) on April 26.
“We are still implementing a nominal approach routine, in automated regime,” Lopota said late on Thursday, adding that the Russian cosmonauts on board the ISS would be instructed to switch to manual control and guide the vehicle to a safe docking should any problems emerge.
Meanwhile, Russian space experts are continuing attempts to fix the antenna glitch, the head of Energia corporation said.
“Even if we fail, the problem with the antenna should not hamper the docking,” he said.
The Progress M-19M freighter was launched on Wednesday from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.
Russia’s Federal Space Agency Roscosmos reported a failure to deploy an antenna of the Kurs navigation system responsible for guiding the spacecraft to the docking module on the ISS shortly after the freighter reached the desired orbit.
The Progress is on a resupply mission to deliver over 2.5 tons of cargo to the ISS, including payloads for the crew’s work and fuel for the space station, as well as food supplies, water and oxygen for the crew.