November 28, 2013
New radio rendezvous system tested
Russian transport cargo vehicle Progress M-21M conducted its test rendezvous with the International Space Station (ISS) in accordance with free flight program which prescribed flight testing of a new radio system of Kurs-NA motion parameters relative measurements.
At 01 hour: 48 minutes: 57 seconds Moscow Time the space vehicle approached ISS up to a desired distance, whereupon the space vehicle was moved away from the station at a safe distance foreseen in the program of its further free flight.
The space vehicle docking to the station is to occur on November 30 at 02 hours 28 minutes Moscow Time.
- New radio system of Kurs-NA motion parameters relative measurements is intended to provide search for, rendezvous and docking of Progress and Soyuz space vehicles to the ISS at a greater distance and with a higher accuracy than Kurs system currently in use. The new system includes up-to-date completing parts, with new digital software implemented which meets current requirements for performance of space vehicles rendezvous and docking operations with orbital stations.
- In July 2012, Kurs-NA system was tested for the first time during Progress M-15M space vehicle flight. Testing was implemented in telemetry mode; flight Kurs system was operating onboard the space vehicle, while Kurs-NA system equipment was transmitting telemetry information to MCC without taking part in rendezvous control. Now this new system is installed in flight configuration on Progress M-21M space vehicle (active part) and on ISS Service Module Zvezda (passive part). This flight made it possible to perform the first test of the system operating in normal mode.