Cargo spaceship docks with ISS despite antenna mishap
An unmanned cargo vehicle on Friday successfully docked with the International Space Station, in a delicate manoeuvre after its navigation antenna failed to properly deploy following launch, Russian mission control and NASA said.
Russian cosmonauts Roman Romanenko and Pavel Vinogradov first oversaw a so-called partial "soft docking" of the Progress craft at 1225 GMT, careful to make sure the unopened antenna did not cause any damage.
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Around 10 minutes later the full docking was completed with "hooks closed" and the cargo ready to be taken on by the crew into the main station modules.
"We have capture between the ISS and Progress," a NASA commentator said after the soft docking completed while the space station was over Kazakhstan.
The full docking, which was considerably slower than normal, was then completed at 1234 GMT.
The failure of the Kurs antenna on the craft to properly deploy after launch from Russia's Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan earlier this week had raised fears about whether the docking manoeuvre could be successfully carried out.
The Progress brought fresh fuel and oxygen supplies, as well as equipment and water, to the ISS.
by Lim Chang-Won Â© 2013 AFP
Source : AFP