The International Space Station (ISS) will soon install a new camera observing Earth, and controlled by a remote. (Photo : NASA)
A Russian cargo spacecraft failed to dock at the International Space Station (ISS), said NASA and the Russian space agency on Tuesday.
The Russian Mission Control did not disclose the reason why the spacecraft, known as Progress 47, had to postpone its Monday night attempt other than saying that an apparent failure in the new Kurs-NA rendevouz system had taken place.
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The spacecraft will now make its second attempt to dock this Sunday, July 29, at approximately 6 p.m. ET after a Japanese cargo ship, the HTV-3 carrying the first custom-made Earth Observing camera (ISERV), attempts to dock on Friday.
Progress 47 is an unmanned cargo ship and one of its purpose is to test a new docking system has the ability to consume less power and provide better safety due to its upgraded electronics. It initially undocked on Sunday, July 22, to perform these tests but had to abort the process within 100 miles from the ISS.
According to a NASA issued statement, the test was proceeding normally until about the time the new Kurs-NA rendezvous system was to be engaged.
The Russian space agency stated that the spacecraft had posed no threat of collision.
The New York Times reported that the incident recalled the "near-destruction of the Mir space station and the threat to its crew in 1997, when a Progress craft, experimenting with a remote-control approach, bumped into the module and ripped open a hole in the station's airtight skin."
Russian's Federal Space Agency is scheduled to launch another Progress cargo ship, 48, on August 1 from Kazakhstan.