In 2021, Russian cargo spacecraft Progress will travel to the International Space Station (ISS) for two days instead of several hours as before. This was reported on December 14 by RIA Novosti with reference to the flight program drawn up by RSC Energia (a company of Roscosmos).
It is noted that since 2012, these ships have flown in a fast six-hour pattern instead of a two-day one. And in 2018, they switched to the super-fast three-hour schedule.
Two interlocutors of the agency in the rocket and space industry also confirmed the information that the Progress cargo flights to the ISS next year will be carried out according to the usual two-day scheme. According to the program, the ships of the MS-16, MS-17 and MS-18 models will be launched on February 15, June 30 and October 28, respectively.
At the same time, Roskosmos refused to comment on these data, citing the fact that the schedule for 2021 has not yet been approved.
The Progress cargo ship was developed on the basis of the Soyuz and has been in use since 1978. The three-hour and six-hour scheme allows you to save some fuel, but for its implementation it is necessary to adjust the station’s orbit, which is quite difficult, the agency specifies.
On November 25, it became known that the Russian Progress MS-14 cargo spacecraft would set a record for the longest stay in space. It was launched on April 25 this year and will be de-orbited in April-May 2021. Thus, Progress will stay in the station for 370 days, which is 47 days higher than the previous record.