Progress M13-M Performs Successful Docking

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Progress Spacecraft has performed a successful docking with the ISS (Credits: NASA).

Two days after its October 30 launch, the Progress M13-M unmanned resupply spacecraft has performed a successful docking to the International Space Station. This event was a necessary step for the restoration of manned Soyuz flights that has been suspended because of safety concerns after the Progress M12-M launch failure.

Progress M13-M docked with ISS at 07:41 EDT on Wednesday morning, making it the first resupply to the orbital outpost since the Space Shuttle Atlantis visit in July. The large supply stock provided on that mission meant that the ISS crew experienced little inconvenience from the delayed resupply delivery.

Launch of the Progress M-12M, which failed to reach orbital altitudes and crashed in Siberia (Credits: NASA).

The launch failure of M13-M in the middle of August resulted in postponing of all the planned Soyuz launches pending investigation. Soon after the accident it was determined, that the reason for the failure was a faulty gas generator. With the Soyuz-U and the crew-qualified Soyuz-FG sharing several features, serious safety concerns arose and all the Soyuz class upper stages had to be recalled and certified.

With the successful docking of Progress M13-M, everything is getting ready for the next manned Soyuz launch scheduled for November 14. The launch will carry two cosmonauts and an astronaut to the ISS, to join the current crew of three.

Progress is a Russian expendable freighter used for unmanned resupply missions, including regular restocking of ISS. It was derived from the Soyuz Spacecraft and it is launched on Soyuz-U rocket.

 In the video, below, preparation of Progress M13-M.

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Tereza Pultarova

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Tereza is a science and travel journalist and education documentary TV maker born and raised in the Czech Republic, currently residing in London, UK. After working six years in the Czech Public Service Television, she took a career break in 2011 to pursue an international experience. Holding a bachelor's in journalism and master's in cultural anthropology from the Charles University in Prague, plus a master's in space management from the International Space University in Strasbourg, France, Tereza is a pretty versatile writer who always seeks new creative approaches.