A modified Russian Progress propulsion compartment used to deliver the five-ton Prichal docking module to the International Space Station successfully undocked from the Prichal module at 6:03 p.m. EST.
The spacecraft arrived and docked to the Nauka module on the Earth-facing side of the Russian segment Friday, Nov. 26, two days after lifting off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan Wednesday, Nov. 24. Prichal, named for the Russian word for “pier,” has five available docking ports to accommodate multiple Russian spacecraft and provide fuel transfer capability to the Nauka module. Named for the Russian word for “science,” Nauka launched to the space station in July.
The Progress instrument assembly compartment will back away from the space station, and a few hours later, Progress’ engines will fire in a deorbit maneuver to send the cargo craft into a destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere over the Pacific Ocean. Deorbit and re-entry will not be covered on NASA TV.
The space station blog is taking a short break until Monday, Dec. 27, as the station’s five astronauts and two cosmonauts spend the holidays orbiting above Earth.
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