13:16 GMT18 May 2021
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    BAIKONUR (Sputnik) - A malfunction in the nose cone of the Soyuz launch vehicle led to an incident during the docking of Russia's Progress MS-16 cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) in February, the general director of the Progress space rocket centre, Dmitry Baranov, said on Saturday.

    "The commission will work until 30 April. The problem is in the nose cone", Baranov told reporters.

    Progress MS-16 was supposed to dock at Russia's Pirs compartment in an automatic mode on 17 February. However, the process had to be performed in a manual mode because the cargo spacecraft deviated too much from the intended trajectory. Russian cosmonaut Sergey Ryzhikov successfully performed the manual docking of the spacecraft.

    A source in the space industry previously revealed the the docking malfunction had been caused by damage to the antenna and elements of the Kurs-NA system after the nose fairing of the Soyuz-2.1a launch vehicle was dropped during placing of the spacecraft into orbit. This was later confirmed by images released by NASA Johnson Space Centre.

    rocket, ISS, docking, Soyuz, space
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