ISS-64 mission


ISS crew:

Commander -
Sergey Ryzhikov
Flight engineers:
Sergey Kud-Sverchkov
Kathleen Rubins
Michael Hopkins
Victor Glover
Shannon Walker
Soichi Noguchi




The new series Progress MC vehicle has been launched

December 21, 2015

Today on December 21 the new modification Progress MC cargo transport vehicle is launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. The vehicle developed and produced by RSC Energia successfully reached near-earth orbit and flied into trajectory to the International Space Station (ISS).

The Soyuz-2.1 launch vehicle with the Progress MC CTV was launched from site No. 31 of the Baikonur Cosmodrome on December 21 at 11:44:39 Moscow Time. At the estimated time specialists recorded normal separation of the vehicle from the third stage of the launch vehicle.

Onboard the vehicle there are 2436 kg of different cargo including 1252 kg of dry cargo, 718 kg of propellant in refueling system tanks, 420 kg of water and 46 kg of compressed gases (air and oxygen). The total mass of the Progress MC CTV with cargo at the launch time was 7284 kg.

The vehicle will deliver to the ISS more than a ton of cargo for Service Module (SM) Zvezda including a life-support system and the individual protection aids for cosmonauts, storage batteries for power supply system, sanitary-hygienic and medical equipment, consumables for gasanalytical equipment and thermal control system, onboard system maintenance and repair aids, fire extinguishers, etc.

For the Station crewmembers the following is prepared: containers with food rations, fresh food kit and parcels with personal things. In the cargo compartment of the vehicle there are sets of onboard documentation, completing parts and power supply components for video and photographic equipment, hard disks, hardware for science research and experiments.

Onboard the Progress MC CTV there are also 127 kg of the U.S and European cargo, in particular the habitable environment monitoring aids, equipment and instruments for extravehicular activity, the weightlessness prevention aids, science hardware, the U.S. food and clothes for the Russian crewmembers.

The cargo vehicle will make a two-day rendezvous to the ISS. A quick six-hour rendezvous cancel is due to the necessity of testing the onboard systems many of which are new or modernized in autonomous flight.

The cargo vehicle docking to docking compartment (DC1) Pirs of Service Module (SM) Zvezda of the ISS shall be made in the unmanned mode on December 23 at 13:29:24 Moscow Time in the 34-th day orbit of the flight. The ISS crewmembers will monitor the berthing process from the Station.

Transport vehicles of a new modification such as Progress MC and Soyuz MC are developed as a result of the great modernization of the Progress M and Soyuz TMA vehicles.

The onboard command-radio system Kvant-B is replaced by single command-telemetry system (SCTS) with an additional telemetry channel. A new command radio link provides the signal reception via the Luch-5 relay satellites, due to which the vehicle radio visibility zones will be considerably expanded up to 70% of the orbit duration.

The new modification vehicles are completed with modern onboard radio system for rendezvous and docking Kurs-NA. As compared with more earlier Kurs-A version, it has the improved weight-dimension characteristics and allows to remove from the vehicle equipment one of three radio antennas.

Instead of analog television system Klest the following is used in vehicles: a digital television system which allows to maintain communication between the vehicle and the Station via board-to-board radio link.

A new digital reserve loop control unit (RLCU) developed by RSC Energia, modernized angular rate sensor unit ARSU-3A and light-emitting diode headlight SFOK became a part of the vehicle onboard equipment of the Soyuz MC and Progress MC modifications instead of the equipment taken out of production.

Due to the use of the new ground and onboard radio systems it became possible to use up-to-date protocols of information transfer, as a result of which the vehicle control system operation stability increased.

The majority of technical decisions inherent in the Soyuz MC and Progress MC structure will be used when creating a new generation manned transport vehicle (MTV) which is developed by RSC Energia.


OAO RSC Energia is a leading enterprise of rocket-space industry, the prime organization for manned space systems. The Corporation is working to develop unmanned space and rocket systems (launch vehicles and inter-orbital transfer), high-tech systems for various applications to be used in non-space fields. Since August 2014 the Corporation is headed by Vladimir Solntsev.


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