Russian Progress Spacecraft Brings 1.5 Tons of Supplies, Propellant to ISS

by | Nov 11, 2021 | Daily Space, Rockets, Spacecraft | 0 comments

Russian Progress Spacecraft Brings 1.5 Tons of Supplies, Propellant to ISS
CREDIT: Roscosmos

On October 28 at midnight UTC, a Russian Soyuz 2.1a rocket launched the Progress MS-18 spacecraft towards the International Space Station. This was the 1,949th launch of an R7-derived Soyuz since its first over 64 years ago. 

Onboard the craft was 1,480 kilograms of equipment, which is about the mass of two cows. This included five scientific experiments for the Russian cosmonauts to perform, 560 kilograms of propellant to be used for boosting the ISS’s orbit, 420 kilograms of drinking water, and 43 kilograms of compressed oxygen to refresh the supply on the Russian segment.

The five experiments included Matryoshka-R, which uses analogs for both living tissue and station components and measures the accumulated radiation dose on both of those things. It also measures the radiation environment around the station. 

Biomag-M will study whether a magnetic field can protect living things from the harshness of outer space with the goal of creating microorganisms that are more resistant to spaceflight.

Aseptic will investigate methods for sterilizing equipment on the station.

Structure is a protein crystallization experiment designed to produce large crystals for the production of medicine, science, and other fields. They will be returned to Earth for analysis. Several iterations of both this experiment and Aseptic have flown before, going back several years.

After a leisurely two days of catching up with the ISS, Progress MS-18 successfully docked autonomously to the back port of the Zvezda module on Saturday, October 30. After several hours of leak checks, the hatch from the station to the spacecraft was opened. These leak checks have always been standard procedure, but since the discovery of a series of cracks in the Zvezda module’s docking compartment in 2019, they are much more important. Progress will stay at the station, providing occasional re-boost burns as needed until it departs for a destructive reentry in the South Pacific in Spring 2022.

More Information

Roscosmos press release (Russian)

BIOMAG-M info page (Tsniimash) (Russian)

Docking press release (Roscosmos) (Russian)

The ISS temporarily isolated a compartment from which air leaks (RIA) (Russian)

Launch video

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