Progress MS-25


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Progress MS-25 resupplies the ISS

The sixth and final Russian launch to the ISS in 2023 sent around 2.5 tons of cargo for Expedition 70 aboard the International Space Station, ISS. Progress MS-25 lifted off from Baikonur in Kazakhstan on December 1 and docked at the outpost on December 3 under manual control of the station crew due to problems with the automated rendezvous system. It was also the fourth Russian cargo vehicle travelling to the ISS in 2023.

Previous mission: Progress MS-24


Progress MS-25 mission at a glance:

Spacecraft designation(s) Progress MS-25, 11F615 No. 455, ISS mission 86P
Launch vehicle Soyuz-2-1a, 14S53 No. M15000-067
Payload fairing 11S517A2 No. M15000-135
Launch site Baikonur, Site 31, Pad 6
Mission Cargo delivery to the ISS
Launch date and time 2023 Dec. 1, 12:25:11.703 Moscow Time (actual)
Docking date and time 2023 Dec. 3, 14:18:33 Moscow Time (actual), 14:15:56 (planned)
Docking destination ISS, Russian Segment, Poisk module (MIM2), zenith port
Deliverable payload mass 2,528 kilograms
Flight duration 179 days
Undocking/deorbit date 2024 May 28

Progress MS-25 mission

According to Roskosmos, the Progress MS-25 spacecraft was expected to carry around 2,528 kilograms of cargo to the station, including 515 kilograms of propellant for refueling the station, 420 kilograms of drinking water, 40 kilogram of pressurized nitrogen for the station's atmosphere, and around 1,500 kilograms of consumables, including materials for science experiments (INSIDER CONTENT) loaded in the pressurized cargo section and intended for the 70th long-duration expedition aboard the ISS.

The deliverable science materials included the Inkubator-3 incubating unit and 48 eggs of Japanese quail for the Perepel (Quail) experiment. This equipment, to be installed inside the Nauka module, was designed to support the embryo development, with half of the eggs remaining in microgravity conditions and half in a centrifuge simulating Earth's gravity. Some of the eggs will be removed from the incubating units at various stages of development (3, 7 and 14 days) and placed into special containers with formaldehyde solution for the subsequent return to Earth and evaluation in different "frozen" states of development.

Progress MS-25 also carried the Kvarts-M experiment, to be deployed on the exterior of the Poisk module, MIM2, for studying corrosion.

Progress MS-25 launch campaign


Progress MS-25 arrived at Baikonur at the end of January 2023.

The spacecraft was shipped from its assembly plant in Korolev to Baikonur on Jan. 20, 2023.

A pair of Soyuz-2-1a rockets for the launches of Progress vehicles was shipped from RKTs Progress to Baikonur around May 22, 2023. By June 8, 2023, the components of the rocket boosters for the Progress MS-25 mission were transported to the vehicle assembly building at Site 31, and unloaded from railway cars.

On Oct. 10, 2023, the cargo ship was sent to the anechoic chamber, a part of the processing complex at Site 254 in Baikonur for a series of electric tests. Testing of the spacecraft in the vacuum chamber took place from October 13 to October 20. The solar panels were tested on Nov. 7, 2023.

On Nov. 14, 2023, Roskosmos announced that a meeting of technical management had cleared Progress MS-25 for loading propellant components into the ship's propulsion system and into the tanks of the in-orbit refueling section. Before the transfer to the fueling station, the spacecraft underwent weighting and balancing at its processing facility at Site 254, where it returned on Nov. 17, 2023, after completion of propellant loading, Roskosmos said.

On Nov. 22, 2023, Progress MS-25 was taken out of its processing work site and connected to the launch vehicle adapter which serves as an interface with the Soyuz-2-1a rocket. The integration was followed by test activation of the command and telemetry system aboard the cargo ship. Specialists then conducted final inspection of the spacecraft and rolled it inside its payload fairing, after which, the completed upper composite was loaded on a rail platform and delivered to the launch vehicle assembly building at Site 31 on Nov. 25, 2023.

Progress MS-25 hit with a radiator issue


The Progress MS-25 launch campaign is known to have at least one issue, associated with the Mounted Cold Radiator, NKhR, from the ship's Thermal Control System, SOTR (INSIDER CONTENT). According to a report displayed at the meeting of technical management on Nov. 27, 2023, during the preparation of the spacecraft, a wrench was accidentally dropped from the second level of the processing stand and hit the radiator on the Aggregate Compartment of the ship. The impact slightly damaged the thermal control coating, TRP, on the NKhR radiator. Still, the corrective measures were deemed adequate by the management to clear the spacecraft for the rollout to the launch pad.

The integration of the spacecraft with the rocket was completed on Nov. 27, 2023, and the launch vehicle was rolled out to the pad at Site 31 on the morning of Nov. 28, 2023.

Progress MS-25 launch profile


A Soyuz-2-1a rocket, carrying the Progress MS-25 cargo ship lifed off from Pad 6 at Site 31 in Baikonur on Dec. 1, 2023, at 12:25:11.703 Moscow Time (4:25 a.m. EST).

Following a vertical liftoff under the combined thrust of the four RD-107 engines on the first stage and the single RD-108 of the second (core) stage, the launch vehicle headed eastward from Baikonur matching its ground track to an orbit inclined 51.67 degrees to the plane of the Equator.

The four first-stage boosters separated 1 minute 58 seconds after liftoff (at 12:27:09 Moscow Time), at an altitude of around 43 kilometers, followed by the split and drop of the two halves of the payload fairing slightly more than a minute later (at 12:28:14 Moscow Time, 3 minutes 3 seconds in flight), at an altitude of around 91 kilometers, just above the dense atmosphere and around 200 kilometers downrange. In the meantime, the second stage continued firing until 4 minutes and 47 seconds into the flight (12:29:58 Moscow Time), bringing the vehicle to around 143 kilometers above the planet and a speed of around four kilometers per second, some 500 kilometers downrange from the launch site.

The third stage then ignited moments before the separation of the second stage, firing its RD-0110 engine through a lattice structure connecting the two boosters and ensuring a continuous thrust during the separation process. A fraction of a second after the boosters of the second and third stage parted ways, the aft cylindrical section of the third stage split into three segments and dropped off, ensuring the fall of the second stage and the aft section into the same area on the ground.

The third stage continued firing until 12:34:00 Moscow Time, inserting the cargo ship into an initial parking orbit 8 minutes 49 seconds after liftoff at an altitude of around 193 kilometers.

The launch targeted the 240.1 by 193.3-kilometer initial orbit with an inclination 51.67 degrees toward the Equator and an orbital period of 88.54 minutes.

Progress MS-25 docks at ISS under manual control


Initially, Progress MS-25 was scheduled to dock at the Prichal module, UM, a part of the Russian Segment, but the docking location was eventually shifted to the zenith (sky-facing) port on the Poisk module, MIM2.

The mission was also expected to reach the station at 15:46 Moscow Time, on the the day of the launch at 12:22 Moscow Time, but changing ballistic of the station's flight required adjusting the launch time to 12:25:11 Moscow Time and to switch to a two-day, 34-orbit rendezvous profile. The docking time was ultimately set for 14:14 Moscow Time (6:14 a.m. EST) on Dec. 3, 2023, or 49 hours 50 minutes after launch.

The Progress MS-25 was scheduled to begin an autonomous rendezvous with the ISS during the cargo ship's 34th orbit, which was expected to have the following parameters: a perigee — 381.082 kilometers and an apogee — 418.694 kilometers. Around the same time, the ISS was flying in the 415.631 by 434.154-kilometer orbit.

As usual, the autonomous rendezvous process included six major orbit-correction maneuvers using main SKD engine and small DPO thrusters on Dec. 3, 2023:

Moscow Time
Range to ISS
Velocity change
Burn duration
Engine used
500.59 kilometers
27.59 m/s
71.6 sec.
211.77 kilometers
1.51 m/s
39.2 sec.
75.93 kilometers
44.07 m/s
112.2 sec.
2.20 kilometers
5.86 m/s
18.2 sec.
1.05 kilometers
5.01 m/s
75.4 sec.
0.62 kilometers
1.47 m/s
13.4 sec.

The autonomous rendezvous process between Progress MS-25 and the ISS was planned according to the following timeline:

Start of the autonomous rendezvous 11:48:48 Moscow Time
Activation of the rendezvous equipment on the Zvezda Service Module 12:37:53 Moscow Time
Activation of the rendezvous equipment on the cargo ship 12:38:53 Moscow Time
Flyaround starts 13:49 Moscow Time
Flyaround completed and station-keeping period 14:04 Moscow Time
Final approach starts 14:04 Moscow Time
Final approach completed 14:15 Moscow Time
Contact 14:15:56 Moscow Time
Docking process begins 14:16 Moscow Time
Docking process ends 14:33 Moscow Time

As usual, Russian cosmonauts Oleg Kononenko and Nikolai Chub, from the Soyuz MS-24 crew, were prepared to operate the TORU remote-control system aboard the Zvezda Service Module, SM, in the event of problems with the primary automated rendezvous system.

Mission control commanded the activation of the TORU at around 13:40 Moscow Time as Progress was around two kilometers from the station, on Dec. 3, 2023.

Following the rendezvous, Progress MS-25 was scheduled to make a 127-degree flyaround of the station to align itself with the docking port on the Poisk module, MIM2, for a short station keeping and the final approach for docking. The flyaround was initiated at around 13:50 Moscow Time at a distance of around 370 meters from the station, however in the process, the spacecraft began drifting away from its planned attitude, prompting mission control to command the crew to take over control with the TORU system around 13:59 Moscow Time. At the time, the rate of closure between the cargo ship and the station, as well as the distance between the two spacecraft displayed by the Kurs system was erroneous.

Fortunately, the alignment was successfully completed with the use of TORU at around 14:05 Moscow Time. The mission control then instructed the crew to bring Progress MS-25 to a distance of 30 meters from the ISS for a period of station keeping, so specialists could assess the situation. The station keeping was initiated at around 14:07 Moscow Time. The crew was then able to catch the crosshairs of the docking target on Poisk with a rendezvous camera on the Progress at around 14:12 Moscow Time, allowing to begin the final approach with another pause planned at a distance of around three meters from the ISS.

The contact and capture between the spacecraft and the station was registered at 14:18:33 Moscow Time (6:18 a.m. EST) of around three minutes later than planned. The probe retraction and the closure of the hooks between the cargo ship and the station was confirmed at around 14:24 Moscow Time.

Progress MS-25 departs ISS

To make way for the arrival of the Progress MS-27 cargo ship, scheduled on June 1, 2024, Progress MS-25 undocked from the Poisk module, MIM2, on May 28, 2024, at 11:39:22 Moscow Time (08:39 UTC, 4:39 a.m. EDT).

The braking maneuver, leading to a destructive reentry of the spacecraft over the Pacific Ocean, was scheduled on the same day at 14:48 Moscow Time (7:48 a.m. EDT), with any surviving debris estimated to splash down at 15:29 Moscow Time (8:29 a.m. EDT), Roskosmos said.


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This page is maintained by Anatoly Zak; Last update: May 29, 2024

Page editor: Alain Chabot; Last edit: November 30, 2023

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Payload fairing of the Progress MS-25 mission carried an insignia dedicated to the 35th anniversary of the Buran reusable orbiter flight on Nov. 15, 1988. The rocket also carried logos dedicated to the 100th birthday anniversary of Aleksandr Maksimov, the first chief of the Main Space Assets Directorate of the Russian Ministry of Defense, to the Decade of Science and Technology declared in Russia from 2022 to 2031 and the "Future Game" to be conducted in Kazan in 2024. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA


Fully assembled Progress MS-25 cargo ship is lowered into a horizontal position ahead of its rolling inside the protective payload fairing. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA


Final assembly of the Soyuz-2-1a rocket with the Progress MS-25 cargo ship on Nov. 27, 2023, while the third stage for another Soyuz rocket, intended to launch the second Arktika satellite is awaiting integration inside the vehicle assembly building at Site 31 (foreground bottom). Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA


Soyuz-2-1a rocket with Progress MS-25 spacecraft emerges from the vehicle assembly building on the morning of Nov. 28, 2023. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA


Soyuz-2-1a rocket with Progress MS-25 spacecraft takes vertical position at Site 31 on the morning of Nov. 28, 2023. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA


Camera aboard the Soyuz-2-1a rocket captures payload fairing separation during the launch of Progress MS-25 on Dec. 1, 2023. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA


Progress MS-25 separates from the third stage of the launch vehicle as seen by an onboard camera. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA


Progress MS-25 deploys its solar panels moments after separating from the third stage of the launch vehicle as seen by an onboard camera. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA


Progress MS-25 approaches the ISS on Dec. 3, 2023. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA


At 13:58 Moscow Time on Dec. 3, 2023, a camera aboard Progress MS-25 showed deviation of the spacecraft from its correct attitude relative to the station, prompting mission control to direct the station's crew to switch to TORU remote-control system. Click to enlarge. Credit: NASA