Russia Launches MS-08 Spacecraft
On February 13, 2018, Progress class MS-08 an unmanned cargo resupply ship launched onboard from Russian leased Baikonur launch facility in Kazakhstan, Soyuz 2-1A rocket has four strap on boosters and core engine, fueled by kerosene and liquid oxygen.
It is carrying 2.7 tons of food, fuel and other supplies. It was also carrying the equipment for the Russian-German ICARUS research project aimed at studying wildlife-migration patterns. The automatic cargo spaceship is loaded with 1,390 kg equipment, scientific hardware, and food and supplies sufficient for six-person cabin crew along with 890 kg of propellant for station, 420 liters of water, and 22 kg of compressed air and 22 kg of Oxygen. The docking is expected to be two days later.
The International Space Station, which is orbiting 400 km above earth , is currently manned by six crew members, three from US, two from Russia, and one from Japan.
Progress missions are used as a routine to test new procedures ahead of their crewed Soyuz missions, which usually take around two days to reach ISS if fast track option is excluded. The new super-fast rendezvous is scheduled to be tested upon the Progress MS-series. The craft’s capability to perform the complex rendezvous profile under a strict set of conditions and a strict timeline.
An outline of the plan for the mission in future includes a path that begins after orbit insertion is accomplished, with the progress’ parameters immediately discerned via spacecraft communications with Vostochny cosmodrome’s tracking stations in eastern Russia. If those parameters meet the specifications needed for the two-orbit rendezvous MS-08 will embark on its superfast trajectory to the ISS.
The observations of this mission are expected to be helpful to study the fast track timelines into space travel as stated above and further expanded in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) market and aerospace materials market.
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