Progress MS-19 arrives at ISS
The first Russian cargo mission to the International Space Station in 2022 departed Baikonur Cosmodrome on February 15. The Progress MS-19 spacecraft followed a two-day rendezvous profile with the outpost, docking at the Poisk module on February 17.
Progress MS-19 mission at a glance:
Progress MS-19 mission
According to Roskosmos, the supplies to be delivered to the ISS aboard Progress MS-19 included 431 kilogram of propellant for refueling the station, 420 liters of water in the tanks of the Rodnik system and 40 kilograms of compressed air in the tanks of the oxygen supply system.
In its pressurized cargo section, the spacecraft was to carry 1,632 kilograms of dry cargo for the crew and equipment including cable sets for the upgrades of the Nauka module, medical and hygiene supplies, clothing and standard food packages for the Expedition 66 crew.
The onboard cargo included materials for the following experiments:
In its cargo bay, Progress MS-19 also carried six cubsat-class satellites: YuZGU-55 from No. 5 to No. 10 developed by the South-Western University, in the city of Kursk, for the Radioskaf experiments and intended for launch during spacewalks, Roskosmos said.
Mass breakdown of the cargo delivered aboard Progress MS-19, according to the mission control in Korolev:
Progress MS-19 launch campaign
Progress MS-19 is loaded into vacuum testing facility on Dec. 15, 2021.
The active launch campaign for the Progress MS-19 mission started on Dec. 1, 2021, when the spacecraft was placed into the anechoic chamber inside the processing facility at Site 254 in Baikonur for tests of its radio systems. On Dec. 15, 2021, the ship was moved to the vacuum chamber at Hall 103 for air leak checks.
In early January 2022, all activities in Baikonur were interrupted by spontaneous anti-government protests across Kazakhstan which quickly escalated into violence and mass arrests. Under high security, on January 12, the RKK Energia team arrived at the spaceport for completing the preparations of the mission. According to Roskosmos, all launch campaigns for vehicles scheduled to fly to the ISS in 2022 had been resuming after the holidays.
On January 17, Roskosmos said that specialists had started loading the Rodnik water-supply tanks aboard the spacecraft and the processing of dry items for packing inside the ship's cargo compartment. The next day, Roskosmos reported the unloading of the rocket stages for the Progress MS-19 mission from their rail cars and the inspection of hardware ahead of the integration of the 1A and 2A sections forming the core stage of the Soyuz-2-1a rocket. The assembly of the first and second stages proceeded around January 25. On the same day, the cargo ship's solar panels were put to a routine light exposure test.
On February 2, Roskosmos announced that a meeting of technical management in Baikonur had cleared Progress MS-19 for fueling operations, which were completed on February 4. On the same day, the vehicle was returned to the spacecraft processing building at Site 254 for closeout operations and on February 7, the spacecraft was integrated with an adapter ring, PKhO, designed to serve as an interface with the third stage of the launch vehicle. Specialists then performed test activations of the ship's radio complex and other systems. On February 9, the spacecraft was lowered into horizontal position and rolled inside its payload fairing assembly. Specialists then conducted the final test of launch readiness, after which the payload section was disconnected from the diagnostics equipment and prepared for shipment to the launch vehicle assembly building at Site 31, which took place on Feb. 10, 2022. The final integration of the payload section with the launch vehicle was performed on February 11 and on the same day, the State Commission gave the green light to the rollout of the rocket to the launch pad which took place in early hours of February 12.
Launch profile of the Progress MS-19 mission
Following the vertical liftoff through the wintery mist under the combined thrust of the four RD-107 engines on the first stage and the single RD-108 of the second (core) stage, the launch vehicle will head eastward from Baikonur matching its ground track to an orbit inclined 51.67 degrees to the plane of the Equator. The four first-stage boosters will separate 1 minute and 58 seconds into the flight at an altitude of around 43 kilometers, followed by the split and drop of the two halves of the payload fairing slightly more than a minute later (at L+3 min. 3 sec.), when the rocket reaches 91 kilometers above the planet. In the meantime, the second stage will continue firing until 4.7 minutes into the flight (L+4 min. 47. sec.).
The third stage will ignite moments before the separation of the second stage, firing its RD-0110 engine through a lattice structure connecting the two boosters and ensuring a continuous thrust during the separation process at an altitude of 143 kilometers. A fraction of a second after the boosters of the second and third stage part ways, the aft cylindrical section of the third stage will split into three segments and drop off, ensuring the fall of the second stage and the aft section into the same drop zone.
The spacecraft is expected to separate fr om the third stage of the launch vehicle 8 minutes and 49 seconds after liftoff at an altitude of 194 kilometers, entering a 193 by 240-kilometer orbit with an inclination 51.67 degrees toward the Equator.
Known details of the Progress MS-19 orbital insertion sequence:
Rendezvous and docking operations
The Progress MS-19 mission followed a two-day, 34-orbit rendezvous profile with the ISS.
According to the mission control in Korolev, Progress MS-19 was scheduled to perform six orbit-correction maneuvers with its main SKD engine and small DPO thrusters during its autonomous rendezvous with the station:
The autonomous rendezvous process between Progress MS-19 and the station was planned according to the following timeline on Feb. 17, 2022:
Around 09:30 Moscow Time (1:30 a.m. EST) publicly available communications between mission control and the ISS indicated that Russian cosmonauts Anton Shkaplerov and Petr Dubrov successfully tested and put in stand-by mode the TORU manual rendezvous system aboard the Zvezda Service Module. Shortly thereafter, Progress MS-19 began its automated flyaround of the station from a distance of around 400 meters to get into a straight line position for berthing at the zenith (sky-facing) port of the MIM2 Poisk module. The maneuver was completed around 09:50 Moscow Time at a distance of around 180 meters from the station with a roll maneuver lasting couple of minutes and a short period of station-keeping, as mission control confirmed that everything had been ready for final approach.
The docking was originally scheduled within three minutes from 10:06 Moscow Time (2:06 a.m. EST) on Feb. 17, 2022, but the actual mechanical contact between the two spacecraft took place at 10:03:20 Moscow Time (2:03 a.m. EST) on February 17, as the vehicles were flying over the Pacific Ocean. Few minutes later, mission control confirmed that the docking process had been completed with a tight seal between the station and the cargo ship.
The Progress MS-19 mission was originally scheduled to last for 286 days, but it was later extended to up to 370 days. As of early 2022, Progress MS-19 was expected to be deorbited in February 2023.
Loading of cargo aboard Progress MS-19 on Jan. 25, 2022. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos
Progress MS-19 during final inspection in Baikonur on Feb. 9, 2022. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos
Soyuz-2-1a rocket lifts off from Baikonur with Progress MS-19 on Feb. 15, 2022. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos
First-stage boosters separate from the launch vehicle, as seen by an onboard camera. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos
Payload fairing separates from the launch vehicle, as seen by an onboard camera. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos
Aft skirt separates from the third stage of the Soyuz-2-1a rocket, as seen by an onboard camera. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos
Progress MS-19 separates from the 3rd stage of the Soyuz-2-1a launch vehicle on Feb. 15, 2022, as seen by an onboard camera. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos
Progress MS-19 separates from the launch vehicle as seen by a camera on the rocket's third stage. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos