Russia's Progress M-05M cargo spacecraft was undocked from the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday to begin an independent scientific mission until November 15, a Mission Control spokesman said.
"The space freighter will continue an autonomous flight as a scientific laboratory until November 15 when it will be deorbited and 'buried' in a remote area in the southern Pacific," the official said.
The undocking of Progress M-05M clears the way for the launch of the Progress M-08M spacecraft on October 27 from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan.
On October 30, Progress M-08M is expected to dock with the Pirs docking module vacated by Progress M-05M.
Progress-family freighters have been the backbone of the Russian space cargo fleet for decades. In addition to their main mission as cargo spacecraft, they are used to adjust the ISS's orbit and conduct scientific experiments.
MOSCOW, October 26 (RIA Novosti)