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Progress MS-02 arrives at ISS

A fresh cargo ship reached the International Space Station, ISS, after a successful launch on March 31, 2016. It delivered 2.5 tons of various supplies for the 47th long-duration expedition on the station. In the ISS flight manifest, the Progress MS-02 spacecraft had a designation 63P denoting the 63rd Russian resupply mission heading to the outpost, while in production documentation it was designated No. 432.

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Progress MS-02 lifts off on March 31, 2016.

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The launch of the Progress MS-02 mission was previously planned for April 8, 2016, but it was eventually re-scheduled for March 31.

Preparations of the Soyuz-2-1a rocket for the mission began with the integration of its second stage at Site 31 in Baikonur at the end of January 2016.

On March 18, officials overseeing the launch gave green light to the fueling of the spacecraft's own propellant tanks, as well as resupply tanks to deliver propellant to the station.

Progress MS-02 during pre-launch processing.


After the completion of fueling, the spacecraft returned to its processing building at Site 254 in Baikonur on March 22, 2016, for final operations. Specialists at RKK Energia conducted final inspection of the vehicle on March 25, 2016. Two days later, the spacecraft under its payload fairing was transported by rail from its processing building at Site 254 to the launch vehicle assembly building at Site 31. The final integration of the payload section with the launch vehicle took place on March 28. On the same day the State Commission overseeing the launch approved the rollout of the vehicle to Pad 6 at Site 31, next morning.


Progress MS-02 lifts off

A Soyuz-2-1a rocket carrying the Progress MS-02 cargo ship lifted off from Pad 6 at Site 31 in Baikonur on March 31, 2016, at 19:23:57.351 Moscow Time (12:23 p.m. EDT).

Inside, the 7,290-kilogram ship carried supplies for the 47th long-duration expedition on the ISS.


After a nine-minute ascent to orbit, the spacecraft separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle at 19:32:46.06 Moscow Time (12:32 p.m. EDT) into an initial orbit closely matching projected parameters:

Planned orbit
Actual orbit
Orbital period
88.53 minutes (+/-0.05 minutes)
88.55 minutes
51.67 degrees (+/-0.03 degrees)
51.67 degrees
193 kilometers (+/-2 kilometers)
193 kilometers
240 kilometers (+/-7 kilometers)
241.2 kilometers

At the time when the Progress-MS reached its initial orbit, the ISS was in a 402.18 by 422.17-kilometer orbit, 361.5 degrees away from the cargo ship in the so-called phasing angle.

Rendezvous and docking

For this mission, planners reverted to the two-day, 34-orbit trip to the station instead of the currently available six-hour rendezvous profile in order to test new software and communications equipment to be later used on all future Progress and Soyuz vehicles.

During the long-range rendezvous process, Progress MS-02 conducted a dual maneuver on March 31, during the third orbit of the mission, to enter a prescribed phasing orbit with the station and a single orbit correction is planned on April 1 (orbit 17), before the autonomous rendezvous process would begin:

Orbit No.
Firing duration
delta V
Resulting perigee
Resulting apogee
50.0 seconds
19.69 m/s
89.20 minutes
51.66 degrees
209.5 kilometers
271.6 kilometers
29.4 seconds
16.06 m/s
89.75 minutes
51.66 degrees
264.0 kilometers
284.1 kilometers
Day 2 of the mission
29.4 seconds
2.00 m/s
89.81 minutes
51.66 degrees
266.3 kilometers
286.1 kilometers

The autonomous rendezvous process began on April 2, at 18:39:28 Moscow Time (11:39 a.m. EDT). The final maneuvers, including flyaround of the station, station-keeping and berthing was scheduled to commence at 20:39:41 Moscow Time (1:39 p.m. EDT).

The spacecraft was scheduled to dock at the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module, SM, the part of the Russian segment of the ISS on April 2, 2016, at 21:00:53 Moscow Time (2 p.m. EDT), during 34th orbit of the cargo mission. The actual docking took place around three minutes earlier, at 20:58 Moscow Time.

Progress MS-02 is scheduled to remain docked at ISS for more than six months before departing in mid-October 2016.




Cargo onboard Progress MS-02:

Total spacecraft liftoff mass
7,285 kilograms
Propellant for the integrated propulsion system, KDU
880 kilograms
Propellant in the refueling tanks
540 kilograms
Compressed air in the Oxygen Supply System, SrPK
23 kilograms
Compressed oxygen in the Oxygen Supply System, SrPK
24 kilograms
Water in the Rodnik system
420 kilograms
Total mass of supplies in the pressurized cargo compartment, including...
1,418 kilograms

Gas Content System, SOGs (carbon oxide censors DSO, spare vacuum pump set, atmosphere purification filter)

24 kilograms

Water Supply System, SVO (bacterial purification cleanser unit UBO, column unit, gas-liquid filter, distribution and heating unit, reacting filter FR, anti-bacterial solution YeDV2M, pumping unit)

83 kilograms

Sanitary and Hygiene Supplies, SGO (preservative vessels, solid waste containers, water containers, urine container, dust removers, trash containers, )

346 kilograms

Medical Supplies, SMO (medical checkup equipment, personal hygiene items, means of anti-weightlessness prophylactics, first-aid equipment, air monitoring equipment, cleaning supplies)

35 kilograms

Food Provisions, SOP, (food containers, fresh food items, napkins)

331 kilograms

Sanitary and Hygiene Equipment, SMO SSGO (napkins, towels, underwear, overalls, warmers)

145 kilograms

Individual protection means, SIZ (absorption cartridges, oxygen units, water containers, change out items set)

57 kilograms

Fire Safety Package, SPPZ (OKR-1 fire extinguisher, smoke detectors)

10 kilograms

Thermal Control System, SOTR (dust filter replacement cartridges, condensation collector, replaceable pipelines for condensation removal)

32 kilograms

Onboard Equipment Control System, SUBA (power commutating devices)

3 kilograms

Onboard Computer System, BVS (Central Computer Unit, TsVM)

6 kilograms

Onboard Measurements System, SBI, (thermometers TM-168-04, BZU front panel, flash drive)

1 kilogram

Power Supply System, SEP (battery unit 800A)

79 kilograms

Motion and Navigation Control System, SUDN (signal converter unit)

8 kilograms

Sputnik amateur radio equipment (nano-satellite TPU-120 Tomsk)

5 kilograms

Servicing and Repair System, STOR (container bags, instrument belt)

4 kilograms

Means of Crew Support, KSPE (onboard documentation, personal packages for the crew)

23 kilograms

Instrument payloads, KTsN (consumables and spare parts for experiments)

13 kilograms

Storable hardware (Hard disk sets for Plazmenny Kristall-4 experiment)

3 kilograms

Repair and servicing hardware, KS TOR (VnuKD instrument kit)

9 kilograms

Hardware for FGB module (equipment kits, 800A unit)

86 kilograms

Hardware for SO-1 docking module (replaceable panel)

15 kilograms

Hardware for MIM2 Poisk module (fire extinguisher OKR-1)

4 kilograms

American cargo for Russian crew members (food containers, clothing, personal packages for the crew)

94 kilograms

Total mass of cargo

2,425 kilograms

Progress MS-02 boosts ISS orbit

On August 24, 2016, the propulsion system on Progress MS-02 was used to adjust the orbit of the International Space Station, ISS, to provide necessary ballistic parameters for the upcoming return to Earth of the Soyuz TMA-20M spacecraft on Sept. 7, 2016, and the subsequent launch of the Soyuz MS-02 spacecraft on Sept. 23, 2016.

According to the Russian mission control, the engine firing was initiated at 10:30 Moscow Time (03:30 a.m. EDT) and lasted 728.6 seconds (more than 12 minutes), adding 1.3 meters per second to the outpost's velocity and boosting its average altitude by 2.3 kilometers.

Following the maneuver, the ISS was reported in the 403,79 by 420.1-kilometer orbit with an inclination 51.66 degrees toward the Equator and an orbital period of 92.58 minutes.

During its entire mission, Progress MS-02 conducted four planned orbit corrections of the ISS.

Progress MS-02 ends its mission

Progress MS-02 departed the ISS on October 14, 2016. The undocking command was issued at 12:37 Moscow Time (5:37 a.m. EDT) and the cargo ship parted with the station a minute and a half later.

The mission control in Korolev then began deorbiting operations. The spacecraft was programmed to begin the braking maneuver at 15:50 Moscow Time (8:50 a.m. EDT) to reenter the Earth's atmosphere. According to estimates, surviving debris of the cargo ship were to impact a remote part of the Pacific Ocean at 16:39 Moscow Time (7:39 a.m. EDT).


Progress MS-02 reentry as seen from the ISS.


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



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Last update: October 15, 2016

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Progress MS-02 travels from Site 254 to Site 31 for integration with the launch vehicle on March 27. Click to enlarge. Credit: RKK Energia


A Soyuz rocket with Progress MS-02 spacecraft shortly before its rollout to the launch pad. Click to enlarge. Credit: RKK Energia


Progress MS-02 ascends to orbit as seen from ISS on March 31, 2016. Credit: RKK Energia