The cargo ship, called the Progress 78 mission by NASA, is scheduled to dock to Russia’s segment on the ISS (International Space Station) on Thursday, July 1. You can watch the docking process on NASA TV. This is the 78th mission of this particular Progress ship, hence the number in its name. However, other Progress spacecraft were sent in mission on the ISS, with this one actually being the 169th.
Progress 78 is now on its two-day trip on the orbit before it docks at the Poisk module on the Russian segment and will spend a total of five months there. It will relocate this October on Nauka, a multipurpose laboratory module that will launch to space this July. Nauka stands for “science” in Russian.
This will be the last mission of this Progress ship, as later in November, Progress 78 will reentry into Earth’s atmosphere resulting in its safe destruction, according to NASA.
There’s a lot of activity lately involving the International Space Station. ESA (European Space Agency) and NASA astronauts were busy recently installing boosting the power on the Space Station by installing a new solar array.
The European Space Agency was also busy getting its European Robotic Arm ready for launch on the ISS. The machine is scheduled for launch on July 15 and will be used on the Russian segment of the Station, which is unreachable for the other already existent robotic arms on the ISS, Canadarm2, and the Japanese Experiment Module Remote Manipulator System.