HOUSTON (NASA PR) — NASA will provide live coverage on NASA Television, the agency’s website, and the NASA app of the launch and docking of a Russian cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station beginning at 11:15 p.m. EST Sunday, Feb. 14.
The unpiloted Russian Progress 77 is scheduled to launch on a Soyuz rocket at 11:45 p.m. (10:45 a.m. Monday, Feb. 15, Baikonur time) from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.
Following a two-day journey, the spacecraft will automatically link up to the station’s Pirs docking compartment at 1:20 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17. Live coverage of rendezvous and docking will begin at 12:30 a.m.
Progress 77 is scheduled to remain docked to the space station’s Russian segment until later this year. Instead of undocking from Pirs, this time Progress will stay connected and detach Pirs from the Earth-facing side of the station’s Russian segment, where it has spent nearly 20 years in service as both a docking port and spacewalk airlock. Progress then will fire its engines to initiate a destructive entry into Earth’s atmosphere for both the spacecraft and docking compartment.
Pirs’ departure from the space station is scheduled to take place just days after the launch of the “Nauka” Multipurpose Laboratory Module on a Proton rocket from Baikonur. The multifunctional docking port and research facility will automatically dock to the port vacated by Pirs.