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Progress MS-06 launches to ISS

The second Russian cargo mission bound this year to the International Space Station, ISS, lifted off as scheduled from Baikonur Cosmodrome on June 14. In the ISS flight manifest, the Progress MS-06 spacecraft has the designation 67P denoting the 67th Russian supply vehicle heading to the outpost, while in production documentation it was designated No. 436. Two days after launch, Progress MS-06 should deliver around 2.5 tons of supplies to the ISS, along with a cluster of small satellites to be released in orbit.

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The Soyuz-2-1a rocket with the Progress MS-06 spacecraft lifts off on June 14, 2017.

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Progress MS-06 mission at a glance:

Spacecraft designations Progress MS-06 (Production No. 436)
Launch vehicle Soyuz-2-1a No. U15000-028; fairing No. U15000-116
Launch site Baikonur, Site 31, Pad 6
Mission Unmanned cargo delivery to the ISS; nano-satellites release
Launch date and time 2017 June 14, 12:20:13.120 Moscow Time (5:20 a.m. EDT)
Docking date and time 2017 June 16, 14:42:30 Moscow Time (7:42 a.m. EDT) (planned)
Destination Docking at ISS (aft port of the Zvezda Service Module)
Spacecraft liftoff mass 7,290 kilograms
End of mission 2017 December

Preparations for launch

As of 2014, the launch of Progress MS-06 was planned for Feb. 22, 2017, however by the beginning of that year, the start of the mission had already slipped to June 14.

According to the original plans, during its departure from the station in December 2017, Progress MS-06 was supposed to take with it the Pirs Docking Compartment, SO1. The 15-year-old module would then burn up in the atmosphere along with the deorbiting cargo ship. The operation was designed to free the nadir (Earth-facing) docking port on the Zvezda Service Module, SM, for the arriving MLM Nauka module. However, due to the latest delays with Nauka, the disposal of the Pirs had to be transferred to a future cargo ship. By the middle of May 2017, the planned docking of the Progress MS-06 cargo ship was shifted from the Pirs module, to the aft port of the Zvezda.

Active preparations for the launch of Progress MS-06 began at Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan at the beginning of April 2017, with vacuum testing of the vehicle. On May 25, 2017, technicians from the RKTs Progress, the developer of the Soyuz rocket family, bolted together the two sections of the core (second) stage for the Soyuz-2-1a launcher inside the vehicle processing building at Site 31. The integration of the four boosters of the first stage with the core stage took place on May 30.

In the meantime, on May 26, Progress MS-06 was cleared for fueling, which was completed by May 31, 2017. The spacecraft was then returned to the processing building at Site 254, where it was integrated with its launch vehicle adapter ring by June 6, 2017. The next day, managers at RKK Energia conducted final inspection of the vehicle, before it was lowered into horizontal position and rolled inside the payload fairing of the Soyuz-2-1a rocket.

fairing

On June 9, the payload section was transported from Site 254 to the vehicle assembly building at Site 31 for integration with its Soyuz-2-1a rocket and, the next day, the final assembly of the launch vehicle was completed and the rocket was declared ready for the rollout to the launch pad. On June 11, 2017, Soyuz-2-1a with Progress MS-06 arrived at Pad No. 6 at Site 31, where it was installed in vertical position. Launch personnel then began operations of the first launch day, which included general tests and the analysis of the telemetry data, Roskosmos said.

The Soyuz-2-1a rocket with the Progress MS-06 spacecraft shortly after arrival at launch pad on June 11, 2017.

The State Commission overseeing the launch was expected to convene in the early morning of June 14 to give approval for the fueling of the launch vehicle on the pad and final operations before liftoff.

Launch profile

flight

A Soyuz-2-1a rocket rocket carrying the Progress MS-06 (No. 436) cargo ship lifted off as from Pad 6 at Site 31 in Baikonur on June 14, 2017, at 12:20:13 Moscow Time (5:20 a.m. EDT).

Following a vertical liftoff, the launch vehicle headed eastward from Baikonur matching an orbital inclination of 51.66 degrees toward the Equator. The four boosters of the first stage separated nearly two minutes into the flight, while the second stage continued firing until 4.7 minutes into the flight.

The third stage ignited moments before the separation of the second stage, firing its engine through a lattice structure connecting the two boosters and ensuring the continuous thrust during the entire ascent to orbit.

Less than 10 seconds after the separation of the second stage, the payload fairing protecting the spacecraft split into two halves and fell off. A fraction of a second later, the aft cylindrical section of the third stage should split into three segments and dropped off, ensuring the fall of all the debris into the same drop zone 1,576 kilometers from the launch site.

In the meantime, the third stage kept firing until almost nine minutes into the flight. Progress MS-06 then separated from the third stage of the launch vehicle at 12:29:02 Moscow Time (5:29 a.m. EDT), just over three seconds after the third stage engine shutdown.

Impact site fire causes death, injuries

Within 24 hours after the successful launch of Progress MS-06, Kazakh authorities quoted by the official press reported that a fragment of the Soyuz rocket ignited dry grass and caused a fire 20 kilometers southwest of the village of Talap in the Karaganda Region, at the planned impact site for the first stage of the launcher. During an effort to suppress the blaze, one contractor was killed and one hospitalized with serious burns, according to the local press. Both victims were Kazakh citizens working for the Russian firm NPO Mashinostroenia, whose Base No. 1 in Kazakhstan was responsible for cleanup operations at the impact site.

The Interfax news agency quoted Roskosmos as saying that an especially strong gust of wind propelled the blaze toward the Kamaz truck, killing its driver. The second man was delivered to Dzhezkazgan's hospital in serious condition with burns over 45 percent of his body.

The headquarters of Unit 2 of the fire and emergency services in the Karaganda Region received a warning about the fire from the directorate for emergency situations in the town of Dzhezkazgan at 18:04 local time on June 14 (or more than 2.5 hours after launch at 15:20 local time), the Ekspress K news agency said.

Also, at 19:25, a Talap resident reported a fire in the grassland near the Dzhezkazgan-Kyzyl-Orda line, some 40 kilometers from Dzhezkazgan, Ekspress K said. According to the agency, the fire extended 15 kilometers but was under control by 01:20 and fully extinguished by 03:31 (local time on June 15). A total of 61 people and 22 vehicles were involved in suppressing the blaze, according to Ekspress K.

Rendezvous and docking at the station

The Progress MS-06 entered its initial parking orbit with parameters close to planned specifications:

Parameter
Planned orbit
Actual orbit
Orbital period
88.54 minutes (+/-0.05 minutes)
88.55 minutes
Inclination
51.67 degrees (+/-0.03 degrees)
51.67 degrees
Perigee
193 kilometers (+/-2 kilometers)
193.0 kilometers
Apogee
240 kilometers (+/-7 kilometers)
240.8 kilometers

Without any additional maneuvers, the crago ship would remain in orbit for around 30 hours or 20 revolutions around the Earth.

At the time of Progress launch, the ISS was projected to be in a 404.65 by 419.38-kilometer orbit, 254.3 degrees away from the cargo ship in the so-called phasing angle.

The Progress MS-06 mission used the two-day, 34-orbit trip to the station instead of the previously available six-hour rendezvous profile.

During the long-range rendezvous process, the cargo ship conducted a dual maneuver on June 14, during the third orbit of the mission, to enter the prescribed phasing orbit with the station and a single orbit correction was performed on June 15, during the 18th revolution, before the autonomous rendezvous process began. The maneuvers were to be initiated according to the following timeline and had to result in the following orbital parameters:

Orbit No.
Time
Firing duration
delta V
Period
Inclination
Resulting perigee
Resulting apogee
Day 1 of the mission (June 14, 2017)
3
15:53:03
84.5 seconds
33.75 m/s
89.69 minutes
51.67 degrees
210.1 kilometers
316.5 kilometers
3
16:31:30
70.3 seconds
28.28 m/s
90.68 minutes
51.66 degrees
306.6 kilometers
325.2 kilometers
Day 2 of the mission (June 15, 2017)
18
13:55:09
11.0 seconds
4.00 m/s
90.82 minutes
51.66 degrees
317.7 kilometers
331.9 kilometers

The autonomous rendezvous process between the spacecraft and the station was to be initiated on June 16, 2017, at 12:19:06 Moscow Time (5:19 a.m. EDT). Final maneuvers, including flyaround of the station, station-keeping and berthing were scheduled to commence at 14:17:43 Moscow Time on (7:17 a.m. EDT).

The nominal docking was expected to be fully automated with Russian cosmonaut Fyodor Yurchikhin from the Soyuz MS-04 crew on standby at the TORU remote-control rendezvous console inside the Zvezda to take over docking operations in case of an unlikely contingency.

iss

The ISS configuration prior to arrival of Progress MS-06.

According to the flight schedule, Progress MS-06 was scheduled to dock at the aft port of the Zvezda Service Module, SM, a part of the Russian segment of the ISS on June 16, 2017, at 14:42:30 Moscow Time (7:42 a.m. EDT), during 34th orbit of the cargo mission. The actual docking was confirmed a few minutes earlier, at 14:37 Moscow Time (7:37 a.m. EDT), as the two vehicles were flying north of Fillippines.

Onboard cargo

Progress MS-06 carries around 2.5 tons of food, fuel and supplies for the Expedition 52 aboard the ISS. The ship's cargo also includes several nano-satellites: Tanyusha-YuZGU-1 and -2 (a.k.a. Radioskafandr RS-6 and RS-7) with a mass of 2.5 kilograms, which was developed jointly by RKK Energia and students at the South-Western State University, YuZGU, in the city of Kursk. According to RKK Energia, the satellites will be launched by spacewalking cosmonauts to mark the 160th anniversary of Konstantin Tsiolkovsky. The satellites will then transmit congratulatory messages in Russian, English, Chinese and Spanish using ham radio frequencies, RKK Energia said.

In addition, Progress MS-06 carried the Sfera-53 radar calibration satellite and the 7.3-kilogram TNS-O No. 2 satellite developed at Moscow-based AO RKS corporation.

Cargo aboard Progress MS-06:

Propellant in the refueling tanks
620 kilograms
Oxygen in the Oxygen Supply System, SrPK
47 kilograms
Water in the Rodnik system
420 kilograms
Total mass of supplies in the pressurized cargo compartment, including...
1,311 kilograms

Gas Content System, SOGs

27 kilograms

Water Supply System, SVO

369 kilograms

Thermal Control System, SOTR

43 kilograms

Power Supply System, SEP

77 kilograms

Servicing and Repair System, STOR

5 kilograms

Telephone and Telegraph Communications System, STGS

2 kilograms

Medical Supplies, SMO

144 kilograms

Personal Protection Equipment, SIZ

119 kilograms

Sanitary and Hygiene Supplies, SGO

90.6 kilograms

Sputnik HAM radio

0.6 kilograms

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

351 kilograms

Onboard documentation, personal packages for the crew, video and photo equipment

30 kilograms

Expendable materials and scientific equipment for ISS experiments

69 kilograms

Means of repair and sevicing

36 kilograms

Equipment for the FGB module

6 kilograms

Equipment for MIM1 module

19 kilograms

Equipment for MIM2 module

14 kilograms

NASA cargo for Russian members of the crew

71 kilograms

Total mass of cargo

2,398 kilograms

End of mission

As of May 2017, Progress MS-06 was expected to remained docked to the ISS until the end of December. Like most its predecessors, the spacecraft will depart the station filled with trash and then end its mission with a deorbiting engine burn leading to a destructive plunge into the Earth's atmosphere over the ocean.

 

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This page is maintained by Anatoly Zak; Last update: June 16, 2017

Page editor: Alain Chabot; Last edit: June 12, 2017

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core

Integration of the core stage of the Soyuz-2-1a rocket for the Progress MS-06 mission. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


fueling

Progress MS-06 returns to Site 254 on May 31, 2017, after fueling operations. Click to enlarge. Credit: RKK Energia


crane

Progress MS-06 is being prepared for integration with its launch vehicle adapter on June 5, 2017. Click to enlarge. Credit: RKK Energia


inspection

Specialists from RKK Energia conduct final inspection of Progress MS-06 spacecraft on June 7, 2017. Click to enlarge. Credit: RKK Energia


encapsulation

Progress MS-06 rolls inside its payload fairing on June 7, 2017. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


MIK

Soyuz-2-1a with Progress MS-06 emerges from the vehicle processing building at Site 31 on its way to launch pad on June 11, 2017. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


arrival

Soyuz-2-1a with Progress MS-06 arrives at Site 31's launch pad on June 11, 2017. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


pit

Soyuz-2-1a with Progress MS-06 is being installed on the launch pad on June 11, 2017. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


gantry

Access gantry is being retracted from Soyuz-2 rocket shortly before launch of Progress MS-06 on June 14, 2017. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos


liftoff

Progress MS-06 lifts off on June 14, 2017. Click to enlarge. Credit: Roskosmos