Saturday, July 09, 2016

First Soyuz MS series spacecraft docks with space station

A Russian manned spacecraft of the new series Soyuz MS with the crew of a regular expedition to the International Space Station (ISS) on board has docked with the ISS, the Russian Mission Control Center told TASS.

"The docking took place in a normal mode, at the estimated time," the center said.

The Soyuz-FG carrier rocket with the new spaceship was launched from the Baikonur space center in Kazakhstan at 04:36 a.m. Moscow time on Thursday, July 7.

The Soyuz MS was to be launched back in May but was several times postponed. One of such postponements was due to software problems.

Soyuz MS introduces a number of systems upgrades on the time-tested Russian spacecraft, primarily focused on the vehicle’s navigation, control and communications system. The modified systems were tested in an operational environment aboard two Progress cargo missions starting in December 2015 to fully check out all new components in space before committing to a crewed flight.

The MS modification replaces the old Kvant radio system of Soyuz with a Unified Command and Telemetry System and the new communications system enables Soyuz to use the Luch data relay satellites to keep in contact with mission control for the majority of its treks around the planet.......More:

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