The upgraded Progress-MS cargo spacecraft will start performing flights to the International Space Station in 2015. The improvements are implemented step by step and are tested using Progress-M spacecraft, RIA Novosti reports with reference to deputy head of S.P. Korolev Rocket and Space Corporation “Energiya”, Nikolai Bryukhanov.
"The launch of first Progress-MS is scheduled for the second half of 2015. Roscosmos has approved performance specifications and specified the list of required improvements", — Bryukhanov said.
According to him, the important changes will be made in design of many devices that showed good results onboard Progress-M cargo spacecraft.
"In particular onboard radio-technical system Kvant-V with antenna-feeder devices will be replaced by a new single downlink TM system EKTS. In addition, the existing Kurs-A rendezvous and docking system will be replaced by the new one – Kurs-NA allowing using of advanced hardware components and launching production of the components in Russia", — he said.
The upgraded spacecraft will also be fitted with additional protection from space debris and micrometeorites. In order to increase fault-tolerance of the docking mechanism and docking interface sealing the spacecraft will be fitted with backup electric motors.
Progress-MS will be equipped with a new headlight with light-emitting diodes. State-of-the-art satellite navigation system will be used instead of orbit radio monitoring system (part of guidance, navigation and control system).