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Progress MS-24 arrives at ISS

The third and penultimate Progress cargo ship of 2023 lifted off from Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on the morning of Aug. 23, 2023, with around 2.5 tons of cargo for the crew of the International Space Station, ISS. The spacecraft successfully docked at the outpost on Aug. 25, 2023.

Previous mission: Progress MS-23


Progress MS-24 mission at a glance:

Spacecraft designation(s) Progress MS-24, 11F615 No. 454, ISS mission 85P
Launch vehicle Soyuz-2-1a
Payload fairing 11S517A2
Launch site Baikonur, Site 31, Pad 6
Mission Cargo delivery to the ISS
Launch date and time 2023 Aug. 23, 04:08:10.412 Moscow Time (actual)
Docking date and time 2023 Aug. 25, 06:45 Moscow Time (actual)
Docking destination ISS, Russian Segment, Zvezda Service Module, aft port
Deliverable payload mass 2,495 kilograms

According to Roskosmos, the Progress MS-24 spacecraft was expected to carry the usual supply of propellant, water, food and other consumables for the ISS crew. The pressurized compartment included materials for the following science experiments (INSIDER CONTENT): Aseptik, Biodegradatsiya, Biomag-M, Kardiovektor, Struktura, Terminator, Splankh, Pilot-T, Probiovit, Uragan, Virtual, OMIKi-SPK, LAZMA, Vzaimodeistvie-2

Progress MS-24 launch campaign

Progress vehicle Production No. 454 (MS-24) was delivered to Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan in December 2022, but its processing at the launch site started on June 21, 2023. From July 15 to July 20, specialists in Baikonur performed pressure testing of the spacecraft inside a vacuum facility at Site 254. The spacecraft was then returned to its work site in the same building.

On July 28, 2028, specialists performed testing of the solar panels aboard the cargo ship. The payload fairing for the mission was assembled at Site 254 by August 5, 2023 and, in parallel, the propulsion system of the Soyuz-2 rocket for the mission underwent pressurization tests inside the vehicle assembly building at Site 31. The boosters of the first stage were attached to the second (core) stage of the rocket by Aug. 9, 2023, while the spacecraft was being prepared for loading of propellant and pressurized gases at the fueling station at Site 31.

After the return of the spacecraft back to Site 254 after fueling, it was docked to its launch vehicle adapter on Aug. 15, 2023.

On Aug. 16, 2023, specialists conducted the final visual inspection of the spacecraft and then rolled it inside its payload fairing assembly, followed by the launch readiness simulation. The payload section was then transferre to the vehicle processing building at Site 31 on August 17, where it was inegrated with a Soyuz rocket.

On the morning of August 20, 2023, the Soyuz-2-1a launch vehicle with the Progress MS-24 cargo ship was rolled out to the launch pad at Site 31.

Progress MS-24 flight profile

A Soyuz-2-1a rocket, carrying the Progress MS-24 cargo ship lifted off as scheduled from Pad 6 at Site 31 in Baikonur on Aug. 23, 2023, at 04:08 Moscow Time (9:08 p.m. EDT on August 22).

Following a vertical liftoff 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 headed 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 separated one minute 58 seconds after liftoff, 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 an altitude of around 90 kilometers, just above the dense atmosphere and around 200 kilometers downrange. In the meantime, the second stage continued firing until 4 minutes and 47 seconds into the flight, bringing the vehicle to around 143 kilometers above the planet and a speed of around four kilometers per second, some 500 kilometers downrange from the launch site.

The third stage then ignited 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. A fraction of a second after the boosters of the second and third stage parted ways, the aft cylindrical section of the third stage split into three segments and dropped off, ensuring the fall of the second stage and the aft section into the same area.

The third stage continued firing and inserted the cargo ship into an initial parking orbit eight minutes 49 seconds after liftoff at an altitude of around 193 kilometers.

Shortly after the launch, the US Space Force cataloged Progress MS-24 and the third stage of the Soyuz-2-1a rocket in a 188 by 224-kilometer orbit with an inclination 51.7 degrees toward the Equator.

Progress MS-24 docks at the ISS

The Progress MS-24 was scheduled to begin an autonomous rendezvous with the ISS during the cargo ship's 34th orbit, which was expected to have the following parameters: a perigee — 378.882 kilometer and an apogee — 419.778 kilometers. Around the same time, the ISS was flying in the 414.037 by 434.536-kilometer orbit.

As usual, the autonomous rendezvous process included six major orbit-correction maneuvers using main SKD engine and small DPO thrusters on Aug. 25, 2023:

Moscow Time
Range to ISS
Velocity change
Burn duration
Engine used
405.55 kilometers
30.07 m/s
77.4 sec.
212.08 kilometers
1.23 m/s
32.4 sec.
65.47 kilometers
28.45 m/s
74.8 sec.
2.15 kilometers
5.69 m/s
18.2 sec.
1.02 kilometers
5.92 m/s
76.8 sec.
0.61 kilometers
1.43 m/s
13.2 sec.

The autonomous rendezvous process between Progress MS-24 and the ISS was planned according to the following timeline:

Start of the autonomous rendezvous 04:26:11 Moscow Time
Activation of the rendezvous equipment on the Zvezda Service Module 05:15:30 Moscow Time
Activation of the rendezvous equipment on the cargo ship 05:16:30 Moscow Time
Flyaround starts 06:26 Moscow Time
Flyaround completed and station-keeping period 06:39 Moscow Time
Final approach starts 06:39 Moscow Time
Final approach completed 06:50 Moscow Time
Contact 06:50:31 Moscow Time
Docking process begins 06:51 Moscow Time
Docking process ends 07:08 Moscow Time

Progress MS-24 was scheduled to dock at the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module, SM, a part of the Russian ISS Segment, on Aug. 25, 2023, at 06:50 Moscow Time (11:50 p.m. EDT on August 24). The actual contact and capture was recorded at 06:45:20 Moscow Time (11:45 p.m. EDT on August 24), as the two spacecraft were flying over the South Pacific. The hooks in the docking interface were closed at 06:50:17 Moscow Time, according to the mission control in Korolev.

Progress MS-24 performs first station's orbit correction

On Sept. 9, 2023, the propulsion system of the Progress MS-24 spacecraft was used to perform the ISS orbit correction to prepare for the launch of the Soyuz MS-24 crew vehicle and the return of Soyuz MS-23. The propulsion system of the cargo vehicle was ignited at 21:52 Moscow Time and fired for 1,314.56 seconds, adding 2.05 meters per second to the station's velocity. As a result, the outpost's average altitude had increased by 3.5 kilometers reaching 419.24 kilometers, Roskosmos said.


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This page is maintained by Anatoly Zak; Last update: September 13, 2023

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Progress MS-24 lifts off on Aug. 23, 2023. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA

Soyuz-2-1a rocket drops payload fairing during its ascent to orbit with the Progress MS-24 spacecraft on Aug. 23, 2023. Credit: Roskosmos

Soyuz-2-1a rocket drops tail section of the third stage, following the separation of the second stage at L+287.42 seconds into its ascent to orbit with the Progress MS-24 spacecraft on Aug. 23, 2023. Credit: NASA

Progress MS-24 separates from the third stage of the Soyuz-2-1a launch vehicle on Aug. 23, 2023. Credit: NASA