Monday, July 5, 2010
The unmanned Progress M-06M spacecraft, which failed to dock with the International Space Station a few days ago, succeeded in a second attempt Sunday. Russian officials said that today’s docking went flawlessly and exactly as planned, save for the fact that the docking occurred two days behind schedule.
NASA officials made clear that in the event of a total failure of the cargo ship, the orbital outpost’s crew would have had enough surplus supplies to utilize until October or possibly November. By that time, a space shuttle and another Progress spacecraft would have arrived at the station to deliver supplies.
According to NASA, Friday’s abort was most likely due to the faulty activation of a TV transmitter, which led to loss of telemetry and the initiation of an abort sequence. This, in turn, caused the spacecraft to fly past the station. The station’s crew, however, were never in any danger, as the craft bypassed the outpost at a safe distance. The spacecraft, which was launched last week, delivered food, water, oxygen, and other utilities to the orbiting American-Russian crew.