A schedule of upcoming actions aimed at docking the Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft, on board of which the FEDOR robot is located, with the International Space Station has been announced. The relevant information is presented on the Roskosmos website.
As follows from the message of the Russian state corporation, on Sunday, August 25, the ISS crew conducts training on board the station to prepare for upcoming work. We are talking about the re-refueling and re-conservation of the Soyuz MS-13 manned spacecraft.
So, on Monday, August 26, an unscheduled re-docking of this ship from the Zvezda service module to the small research module “Search” of the ISS Russian segment, to which Soyuz MS-14 could not dock the day before, is planned. As noted in the American space agency NASA, this will be the first procedure for reloading the Soyuz spacecraft to the ISS in the last four years.
“The estimated time of separation of the Soyuz MS-13 from the Zvezda module is 06:34 Moscow time, the connection to the Search is at 06:59 Moscow time. The duration of the operation will be about 25 minutes. The docking will be carried out in manual mode by ship’s commander Alexander Skvortsov with the participation of flight engineers Luke Parmitano and Andrew Morgan, ”Roscosmos explained.
After carrying out all the planned activities, Soyuz MS-14 will begin a repeated attempt to dock with the ISS. The spacecraft will have to land at the docking station of the Zvezda service module at 06:12 Moscow time on August 27.
This information was also confirmed in NASA, emphasizing that the Kurs system, which is responsible for docking spacecraft in the orbital station, at Zvezda is in excellent working condition.
Recall that the Soyuz MS-14 with the FEDOR robot on board launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome on the morning of August 22. At 08:30 Moscow time on Saturday, August 24, the ship was supposed to land at the research module "Search" of the International Space Station, but this did not happen due to malfunctions in the proximity system "Course".
“Everything was normal up to a range of about 200 meters, then we went on previously unseen fluctuations, and at the mooring stage we realized that we would not be able to dock automatically,” explained cosmonaut Vladimir Solovyov, flight director of the ISS Russian segment.
After that, the spacecraft was taken to a safe distance from the ISS, all of its systems are operating normally. It was also noted that none of the station’s crew members were exposed to any danger during an unsuccessful docking attempt.
“The Soyuz ship is in automatic flight, it is not lost by us in any way. All the equipment is operational, ”added Solovyov.
As the general director of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin noted after a meeting of the state commission on the fact of the incident, "the situation is complicated, but it is under control."
It should be noted that the Soyuz MS-14 contains equipment for scientific experiments, medical supplies, containers with diets, packages for the crew, as well as the Russian anthropomorphic robot FEDOR (new name - Skybot F-850). The purpose of his stay in orbit is to conduct tests in space flight conditions, as well as to perform various experiments. The return of the spacecraft to Earth with the robot is still scheduled for September 7th.
“In terms of tasks that are easily automated, probably robots will take on the performance of such routine functions, and a person will always remain human in order to experience something new, try some new options,” said the executive director of Roscosmos »On manned space programs Sergey Krikalev.
In addition, the state corporation talked about the state of the robot after an unsuccessful docking. According to the press service, the Skybot F-850 is “calm” and is awaiting a re-approach to the ISS.
Along with this, Roscosmos denied rumors that the Soyuz MS-14, in case of unsuccessful completion of the second attempt to dock to the ISS, would be taken from orbit and flooded in the ocean.
“Talking about the flooding of the ship in case of failure during the repeated docking is nonsense of amateurs. This option is not even considered. The Soyuz spacecraft systems operate normally, they are able to remain in autonomous flight for a long time and, if necessary, they are ready to return to Earth under a regular landing program, ”the report said.