August 1, 2012.
Automatic cargo vehicle Progress M-16M in flight
The launch of cargo transport vehicle (CTV) Progress M-16M was performed form the Baikonur cosmodrome at 23:35 Moscow Time.
The launch objective is to provide further in-orbit operation of the International Space Station (ISS) in compliance with the Russian party commitments under this project.
The main objective of the mission is to deliver onboard the Station of more than 2.6 t of different cargo required to continue the ISS flight in the manned mode and provide the crewmembers life and working conditions, and also test a "quick" procedure of CTV rendezvous with the Station during four flight orbits and the vehicle docking with the ISS in the 5-th orbit.
The vehicle is injected into the reference near-earth orbit with the following parameters: inclination - 51.66°, minimum altitude - 194.36 km, maximum altitude - 244.57 km, period of revolution - 88.59 min.
The vehicle onboard systems operate in the design modes.
The vehicle prelaunch processing operations and launch were performed at the cosmodrome under the direction of the State Commission (the Chairman is Roscosmos Director V.A. Popovkin). The Commission accepted a decision to implement the vehicle prelaunch processing phases and launch on the basis of the Technical Management reports. President of S.P. Korolev RSC Energia and General Designer V.A. Lopota is at the head of the Technical Management.
Based on the data of telemetry information and reports of the ISS Expedition-32 prime crew the Station onboard systems operate in the design modes.
The cargo vehicle docking with the Station is planned for August 2 at 05:18 Moscow Time.
- The following is delivered to orbit in the vehicle compartments: the fuel, oxygen, air, water reserves as well as the food rations including fresh food; equipment for the Station systems and assemblies operation, hardware for scientific investigations and experiments, additional equipment for the Station Russian Segment modules and also parcels for the ISS crew.
- Currently the following cosmonauts and astronauts work in the
near-earth orbit under the ISS program: Russian cosmonauts Gennady Padalka, Sergei Revin
and Yury Malenchenko;
U.S. astronauts Joseph Acaba and Sunita Williams,
JAXA astronaut Akihiko Hoshide.
- The vehicle rendezvous and docking with the ISS for six hours upon injection into orbit are envisaged by the Progress M-16M CTV flight program. The test of this docking procedure will allow the manned transport vehicles crew to be onboard the ISS during the first flight day that, first, will assist to facilitate a process of the crews adaptation to spaceflight conditions.