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Progress M-25M flies on a modified Soyuz rocket

A fresh cargo ship rode a Soyuz-2-1a rocket for the first time on Oct. 29, 2014, marking a milestone in gradual adoption of modified launch vehicles for the human space flight. The launch and docking of the Russian Progress craft went without a hitch just hours after an Antares rocket powered by the Moon Race-era Soviet engines and carrying a Cygnus cargo ship bound to the ISS had exploded at launch over the Wallops Island off the cost of Virginia.

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Above: Timeline, ground track and impact sites for booster stages of the Soyuz-2-1a rocket during the launch of Progress M-25M. (Clickable!)

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Progress M-25M delivered nearly three tons of fuel, food and other supplies to the International Space Station, ISS, in support of the 41st long-duration expedition on the outpost. In the ISS schedule, this cargo mission has designation 57P, denoting the 57th Progress vehicle dedicated to the program. It would also be the 156th launch to the ISS since the beginning of its assembly in orbit in 1998.

Launch preparations

The rollout of the Soyuz-2-1a rocket with Progress M-25M from its assembly building to a launch pad at Site 31 in Baikonur started on October 27, 2014, at 04:30 Moscow Time.

Above: The final assembly of Progress M-25M.

Above: Rollout of the Soyuz rocket with Progress M-25M spacecraft on Oct. 27, 2014.



The launch of a Soyuz-2.1a rocket with the 7,290-kilogram Progress M-25M spacecraft took place as scheduled on Oct. 29, 2014, at 10:09:43 Moscow Time (3:09 a.m. EDT) from Baikonur Cosmodrome's Pad 6 at Site 31. Following a vertical liftoff, the launch vehicle headed east to enter an orbit with an inclination 51.6 degrees toward the Equator.

According to the Russian mission control in Korolev, four boosters of the first stage were jettisoned 117.48 seconds in flight and then impacted the ground 355 kilometers from the launch site. The core booster of the second stage fired for 276.89 seconds and separated after 287.17 seconds in flight, moments after the ignition of the third stage. The second-stage booster then fell to Earth 1,550 kilometers downrange.

In a departure from the traditional launch profile of Progress missions, a payload fairing covering Progress M-25M was jettisoned 136 seconds later than usual to coincide with the separation of the third stage. In the new timeline, it split into two halves and separated at T+296.35 seconds in flight. Less than half a second later, a tail section covering the engines on the third stage split into three segments and also separated. As a result, fragments of the payload fairing and the tail section could crash in the same impact site 1,576 kilometers from the launch site.

The third stage fired until T+524.87 seconds, when the cutoff command known as GK-3 was issued to its engine. Four seconds later, at 10:18:30 Moscow Time (3:18 a.m. EDT), the Progress separated from the third stage into a 192.8 by 239.1-kilometer initial orbit, the mission control in Korolev confirmed. At that point, the ISS was orbiting far above in a 412.57 by 430.11-kilometer orbit.

Rendezvous and docking

Progress M-25M followed a six-hour, five-orbit rendezvous profile during its trip to the station, with docking at the Pirs Docking Compartment, SO1, on the Russian segment of the ISS scheduled on the day of the launch at 16:09:19 Moscow Time (9:09 a.m. EDT). The actual maneuver took place within a minute of the scheduled time. To reach the outpost, Progress conducted four orbit-boosting engine firings, one during the mission's first revolution around the Earth and three more during the second orbit:

Moscow time
Delta V
Burn duration
Resulting orbit after each maneuver
20.90 m/s
53.0 seconds
89.24 minutes
51.65 degrees
217.5 kilometers
264.9 kilometers
19.57 m/s
49.4 seconds
89.92 minutes
51.67 degrees
264.3 kilometers
287.7 kilometers
7.00 m/s
18.4 seconds
90.16 minutes
51.67 degrees
284.3 kilometers
298.2 kilometers
7.00 m/s
18.4 seconds
90.41 minutes
51.64 degrees
291.5 kilometers
320.6 kilometers

The autonomous rendezvous process began as scheduled at 14:03:17 Moscow Time (7:03 a.m. EDT) on October 29. The final phase of the process including a flyaround of the station, a station keeping and berthing, was initiated also on time at 15:50:01 Moscow Time (8:50 a.m. EDT).

In preparation for the arrival of the fresh cargo ship, its predecessor -- Progress M-24M -- was undocked from the Pirs Docking Compartment, SO1, on the Russian segment of the ISS on Oct. 27, 2014.



Above: Progress M-25M as seen from ISS during its rendezvous with the outpost on Oct. 29, 2014.

Undocking and deorbiting

In preparation for the launch of the Progress M-27M cargo ship, the Progress M-25M undocked from the ISS on April 25, 2015, at 09:41 Moscow Time. The spacecraft remained in the autonomous flight until April 26, 2015. According to the mission control in Korolev, the deorbiting burn started at 15:08 Moscow Time and lasted 189 seconds. The maneuver slowed down the vehicle by 100.9 meters per second resulting in the reentry over the Pacific Ocean and the estimated impact of its any surviving debris at 15:57 Moscow Time.


(To be continued)




Mass distribution onboard Progress M-25M, according to the Russian mission control:

Progress M-25M total liftoff mass
7,290 kilograms
Propellant for the integrated propulsion system, KDU
880 kilograms
Propellant in the refueling tanks
600 kilograms
Compressed oxygen in the Oxygen Supply System, SrPK
22 kilograms
Compressed air in the Oxygen Supply System, SrPK
26 kilograms
Water in the Rodnik system
420 kilograms
Total mass of supplies in the pressurized cargo compartment, including...
1,283 kilograms

Gas Content System, SOGs (Pressure level indicator BID, a ventilator, sample kit AK-1M, converter EP 1903, converter GL5187, contamination filters, GA TP2286 filters)

7 kilograms

Water Supply System, SVO (capture filter; cap; hose K-G3)

2 kilograms

Sanitary and Hygiene Supplies, SGO (Solid waste containers, KTO; water filters, toilet filters, M-filters, distributor for preservative and water, separator-pump, MNR-NS)

204 kilograms

Food Provisions, SOP, (Food containers, napkins, garbage bags, fresh food)

429 kilograms

Medical Supplies, SMO (underwear, medical check kits, hygiene and medical supplies, cleaning supplies and air-purification kits)

198 kilograms

Individual Protective Gear, SIZ (sublimation filter PP-10M, oxygen unit BK-3M, ZIP-2M kits, spare parts, underwear)

26 kilograms

Thermal Control System, SOTR (filters, replaceable cassettes)

6 kilograms

Onboard Equipment Control System, SUBA (BRI unit with cables and filters)

14 kilograms

Repair and Servicing System, STOR (container bags, tool belts, tool set)

9 kilograms

Means of Crew Support, KSPE (onboard documentation, packages for the crew, TZK-14 jacket, photo and video equipment)

27 kilograms

Instrument payloads, KTsN (Education and popularization of space technology OBR, KE "Khimiya-Obrazovaniye, Sphera science equipment, Glove box, Uragan geophysical studies system, Morze medico-biological payload: KE Polgen; BTKh Space Bio Technologies: Experiment Aril; Experiment Bioimulsiya, Experiment Konyugatsiya; Technical experiments: Vibrolab, Experiment Sinus-Akkord; Storable hardware: Plazma crystal No. 4; Experiment Priboy)

239 kilograms

Add-on equipment (Repair kit Germitizator)

21 kilograms

Hardware for FGB module (dust collector, dust napkins, anti-fungi kit, STS cables)

10 kilograms

Hardware for MIM1 module (ventilation hardware)

0.2 kilograms

Hardware for MIM2 module (multi-functional console with an adapter)

2 kilograms

US cargo for Russian crew members (cloth, hygiene items, stationary)

68 kilograms

Russian food and payloads for US crew members

20 kilograms

Hardware for the European Space Agency, ESA

1 kilograms

A total mass of deliverable supplies

2,350 kilograms

Read (and see) much more about the history of the Russian space program in a richly illustrated, large-format glossy edition:



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Page author: Anatoly Zak; Last update: July 8, 2017

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Click to enlarge. Credit: RKK Energia


On Oct. 1, 2014, RKK Energia announced that Progress M-25M was transferred from Site 254 to Site 2B in Baikonur for vacuum tests scheduled to begin on the same day. Click to enlarge. Credit: RKK Energia


On Oct. 19, 2014, Progress M-25M returns to its processing building at Site 254 after fueling for final preparations for launch. Click to enlarge. Credit: RKK Energia


Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


Soyuz-2-1a with Progress M-25M shortly after its installation on the launch pad at Site 31 in Baikonur on October 27, 2014. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


Click to enlarge. Credit: RKK Energia


Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


Click to enlarge. Credit: RKK Energia


Soyuz-2-1a lifts off on Oct. 29, 2014 with Progress M-25M cargo ship. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


Progress M-25M as seen from ISS during its rendezvous with the outpost on Oct. 29, 2014. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos





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