Freighter docks with space station despite antenna glitch

Moscow, April 27 (IANS/RIA Novosti) The Progress M-19M space freighter docked with the International Space Station (ISS) despite having failed to deploy one of its navigation antennas, Mission Control said.

It docked with the ISS Zvezda module in automatic mode.

The faulty antenna will not be dismantled by cosmonauts in space because there are several pyrobolts (explosive bolts) inside, Russia’s Federal Space Agency director Vladimir Popovkin said.

The antenna has served its purpose and is no longer needed, he added.

The freighter was launched Wednesday from the Baikonur space centre in Kazakhstan.

Russia’s Federal Space Agency 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. Repeated attempts to deploy the antenna also failed.

The Progress has delivered over 2.5 tonnes of cargo to the ISS, including supplies for the crew’s work and fuel for the space station, as well as food, water and oxygen for the crew, along with parcels from their families.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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