26 Aug 2019 10:55

ISS equipment tested before Soyuz MS-14 docking, operates normally - administration

KOROLYOV. Aug 26 (Interfax) - Specialists have checked the International Space Station (ISS)'s Kurs automatic docking system ahead of docking of the Soyuz MS-14 manned spaceship carrying the humanoid robot FEDOR, which is due on Tuesday, flight supervisor at the Russian Mission Control Center Vladimir Solovyov told the press.

"Tomorrow's docking will be automatic, and yesterday we thoroughly checked all Kurs radar equipment of the accessory bay [the Zvezda module]. It's in good working order, and I believe we'll have no problems with it," Solovyov said.

The Soyuz MS-14 will make another attempt to dock with the ISS on Tuesday morning, Solovyov said. A problem experienced with the MIM2 docking equipment on Saturday, which prevented Soyuz MS-14 from latching on to the station, resulted in the decision to reassign Soyuz MS-15 to the Zvezda module in late September.

The Soyuz MS-14 flight program has not been changed despite the two-day delay in docking, Solovyov said.

"We plan to complete the testing program within six days instead of eight," he said.

As for the docking problem on Saturday, Solovyov said it was impossible to know about the radio equipment's malfunction in advance, considering that the equipment is activated shortly before docking.

"The problems started 150 or 200 meters away [from the station] in docking mode," he said.

Soyuz MS-14 helped to test radio equipment of the Zvezda module's docking system last night, Solovyov said.

Soyuz MS-13 piloted by commander Alexander Skvortsov and two flight engineers, Luca Parmitano and Andrew Morgan, undocked from Zvezda and performed a manual docking with MIM2 on Tuesday morning.

Soyuz MS-14 carrying the robot FEDOR is due to dock with Zvezda on Tuesday. The spaceship performed a special maneuver at 8:30 a.m. Moscow time on Monday to attempt to dock with the ISS again at 6:12 a.m. Moscow time on Tuesday.

Soyuz MS-14 failed to dock with the ISS on Saturday. According to preliminary information, its radio equipment engaged shortly before automatic approach to the station via the Kurs system failed.